Does fear of rejection cause procrastination?

I’m procrastinating about getting my novel ready to send off to my first group of beta readers. I keep thinking what will I work on while it’s being reviewed? I don’t have another book in mind unless it’s poetry, or maybe a book of essays. I feel at a loss right now about what I’ll work on next.

I’m also procrastinating because I’m worried about what the reviewers will think. After all, this is my first novel most of the stuff in it is totally made up something I’ve never done before, so it is a huge confront to send it to people who will actually read it and hopefully give me their honest opinions and criticisms.

However, Seth Godin one of my favorite bloggers came up with just the right words in his blog today:

seth“But I might get rejected

Indeed, you might.

You might get your hopes up only to find them dashed.

You might decide on where you want to go, and then not get there.

You might fall in love with a vision of the future and then discover it doesn’t happen.

How much would that hurt? How much would it hurt to have those hopes, those decisions and that love turn out to be all for nothing?

Of course, it’s not for nothing. In fact, those hopes, those decisions and that love is the foundation for a path worth pursuing. It’s what makes us better.

This post was inspired by my new seminar. Sure, the odds are against you, but I think that’s a lousy reason to avoid exploring something. “Will I get in?” is not nearly as good a question as, “Is it worth trying?”

Don’t apply (to this or to anything else) just because you can, but yes, apply to something that matters to you, something worth dreaming about.

You might get rejected. So what?


So, thanks, Seth. I’m going to take the leap. The first step is to send out invitations to some writing friends asking them  to participate or confirming their commitment to be a beta reader.  Next I will finish my last pass through the novel document by the end of the day, Monday, June 2. Then as soon as I get replies from four beta readers – I have one yes reply already – I’ll send it out.

Anybody here interested in reading a first novel? Please let me know.


  1. The fear of rejection definitely causes procrastination in me. I use to just stop trying if I became too afraid. No more. I understand the fear of sharing your writing. I have a book coming out near the end of July and it is nerve wracking. Been through too many edits on it haha.

    • Madeline Sharples says

      Sebastian,I know you’ll be a huge success. All the edits are good. I’m working on a novel too and taking my time. That’s the only way we can create books that will be worth reading. I wish you all the best. xo

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