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Below: Lauren Vater, MD, MPH shares an uplifting first-hand experience of pushing past rejection and into personal triumph.

Almost 3 years ago, I submitted my first essay to a journal, and it got rejected.

It took some time to submit again, but I forced myself to submit.

I was rejected again.

I thought about tossing it aside, that it just wasn’t good enough. But I kept submitting.

 

Months later, a female editor (Dr. Rita Charon) thought it was “extraordinary.”

The same essay.

And then it got published in JGIM.

 

I thought about tossing it aside, that it just wasn’t good enough. But I kept submitting.

 

Months after this, I got an email from a Pulitzer-Prize winning author:

“Dear Dr. Vater, I am working on a book about writing: not writing for writers, but for civilians, and what it can do for our sense of self.

Last week I spoke by phone with Rita Charon… She forwarded me your piece.

I wonder if we might speak by phone…

Thanks in advance.”

FYI, I wept. Just saying.” – Anna Quindlen.

The essay that almost didn’t get published (because I was nearly too afraid to re-submit) is now the reason Anna Quindlen has included our interview in her book WRITE FOR YOUR LIFE (which came out in April of 2022).

 

Months after this, I got an email from a Pulitzer-Prize winning author. The essay that almost didn't get published is now the reason I've been interviewed for a book by a Pulitzer-prize winner. Click To Tweet

 

Don’t let rejection stop you.

Keep going.

Keep submitting.

Keep trying.

Our work is not for everyone. We are not for everyone.

Keep putting your work out there. The world needs your voice.

 

(And please check out this phenomenal book, How To Write For Life, about how we all can write, and why we should.)

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Lauren Vater, MD, MPH

Laura Vater, MD, MPH is an oncology fellow, writer, and speaker.

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