Reject. To turn away. Re-ject. Big fat loser. Same spelling but the pronunciation makes a world of difference. As writers, we get rejections on a regular basis from agents, if we’re querying, from literary, newspaper, blog and magazine editors. So many people out there who can tell us, “No.” It’s hard not to feel like the second pronunciation, a real reject. The loser kind. Some folks can’t handle the rejection and quit writing. Others feel the sting but soldier on somehow.
It’s hard to separate yourself from the rejection. In my head I knew that agent XWZ or editor ABC wasn’t rejecting me personally, instead was turning down the product I’d set before him or her. It still felt really personal. We all want to be liked, maybe even loved, and rejection messes with that mojo in a big way. I tried to take each “Not for me” as it came, swallow the disappointment and think of the next opportunity. I still do. I give myself permission to mope for a bit and to feel sorry for myself even. Then I drag out my big girl panties and move forward. Staying busy helps. My family helps me; they’re quite a distraction and their needs so overshadow my own that I don’t much self-pity time. Just as well. It’s not all that productive.
How do you manage publishing or other work related rejections? Deb Kim
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