Right now I'm in a yahoo group called Write_Workshop and a workshop is going on called “Rejection Hell” on how to cope with rejection. There is also a sister list for chatting called: Write_WorkshopChat.
We're up to day 3 of the workshop and it's about not losing your self-esteem due to rejection. (actually on Wed. 2/28 we're up to day 3 because I'm writing blogs ahead as the mood strikes me.)
I don't have "novel rejection" yet to go by. Because I just
haven't submitted any novels yet. If I know something isn't ready,
why send it out there? I've tried to determine if it's a "fear of
rejection" but I really honestly don't think that's it. It is a "I
know that one wasn't the one."
And while I could have worked to make it publishable...I was still
learning and finding my voice. I really think a lot of people rush
out the door too soon to try to get published. There shouldn't be all
this imagined pressure to publish while you're still learning how to
even say what you have to say.
But I have experienced rejection at the short story and article level.
And it rarely upset me for very long. I'd
be bummed maybe for an hour or so, but then I just went back to
whatever I was working on.
I mean I knew it wasn't personal. And I really believe that. Having
run my own business before, choosing someone else's work or not
choosing it really is just business.
I learned very early on, from a very different set of circumstances
outside of writing that you can't look to others to validate you. You
have to validate yourself. And not everybody will like you, period.
So you may as well stop trying to be anyone but yourself, because if
you change for acceptance, you might be accepted by one group, but
another group with shun you. That's just life.
Everybody won't like you. No matter how nice, smart, talented,
whatever you are. Someone will say you are a suck up. Someone will
say you're a smart ass, someone will say you're a know-it-all. And
from their perspective, it's probably true.
So it's more useful in the grand scheme to just look to form
connections with those, both in your personal and professional life
who DO get, like, and appreciate you or what you have to offer and for
whom you can return the same like and appreciation.