Introduction: Dealing With Instructables Rejection

About: Grandma Van uses the Instructables website to share little print-and-mail books. Once in a while, she has other fun things to share.

Earlier this week I published my twenty-seventh Instructable.

I thought it was an original concept.

I thought it was fun and different.

I thought it would get featured.


I felt rejected and unhappy.

Then I took a look at my most recent failure. Good grief! I was in such a hurry to get it online that I left a typo in the introduction! Well, I fixed the typo and I decided to write myself a little book of reminders to help me deal with the next rejection.

Step 1: Make Sure the Instructable Really IS Polished.

Check for more than just typos or spelling mistakes.

Is everything REALLY as clear as possible?

Step 2: Realize That Other Projects ARE Better Than Yours.

I wrote my first instructable in August, 2017, so I could enter the First Time Authors contest.

I thought my project was good, and original, and fun. I worked extremely hard getting the photos and the instructions uploaded. I felt very happy to have this project featured. But I didn't even place in the contest.

There were lots of other cool projects in that contest.

They were better than mine.

Moving on.

Step 3: Don't Expect to Get Featured for Projects That Are Not Unique.

I started putting my little print-and-mail storybooks online in order to share them with others. Grandma Van's Print-and-mail storybook #3 got featured. Others didn't. While storybooks 2, 4, and 5-26 were each unique compared to one another, they weren't unique enough to get featured.

But I still needed to publish them, because I need to...

Step 4: Remember the REAL Reason for Writing an Instructable.

It IS all about sharing.

Being featured is cool. Being a winner is probably really great (I would not know.)

But the real goal is to share my work with others.

Sharing is good.

I like to share my work with others.

I like to see that my work has been viewed by others.

I like it when people take time to comment.

Step 5: Remember That the Editors Are Looking For: "Content That Is Highly Reproducible and Has That 'wow, Awesome!' Factor."

I still think my basement maze was awesome.

But for someone who does not have an unfinished basement, it is not exactly "highly reproducible."

It was a cool project. It got featured. It got me started.

It just wasn't a winner.

Step 6: Do Some Research.

Yesterday, while feeling especially rejected, I did a google search for "not featured on Instructables." I saved five different articles and they gave me some good pointers.

Step 7: Study the Masters.

Yesterday, I took a closer look at some of the featured projects and contest winners that I have admired in the past. Wow! MarlenaT and ProfessorPi and LanceMakes and MadeByBarb and Kiteman are really good.

(And if YOU are really good and I didn't mention you here...I just haven't discovered you yet.)

Step 8: Eliminate Envy. Accentuate Gratitude.

Yesterday, I noticed that many, many people had more badges, more features, and more wins than luann2425.

Instead of feeling envious, I choose to feel grateful for all the great content out there.

I'm a member of an awesome community.

Thanks, you all!

Step 9: Focus on Quality, Not Quantity.

At the beginning of 2018, I set a goal to publish one print-and-mail book each week.

I was mailing one book each week to my grandchildren, and I thought to myself, "Why not share those books with others who might be looking for print-and-mail storybooks?"

But some of my personalized storybooks didn't really work well on Instructables. I tried to adapt them, or change them, or write them with Instructables in mind instead of my grandchildren.

My grandchildren didn't really CARE if a book was perfect. They just liked getting something in the mail.

For Instructables, however, I should have published fewer, better books.

Step 10: Don't Quit.

I won't.