Rejection: This Too Shall Pass

GMspcWow. I give up. First time since we started our deb year last September 1st that I can’t think of a thing to write. I’ve started and erased three attempts to say something funny or meaningful or something about this week’s topic: rejection.

Not happening’. I even emailed Lori, Natalia, Susan, and Heather — told them I had nothin’. They probably didn’t believe me. I’ve cried wolf before.

Maybe it’s not so much that I have nothing to say about rejection as that I don’t want to say anything about rejection. I’m kind of done with it for now. We all know that when you enter the book biz, rejection becomes your kind-of friend.

Some friend, right? I don’t buy into rejection as a meaningful form of growth or some other optimistic way of looking at it. Rejection is what it is. It hurts, sometimes more, sometimes less, and we gotta deal. That’s about it.

Maybe my attitude about rejection means that I finally don’t take it all that personally anymore. That’s good. I can deal with the hurt — I don’t even take the emotions personally. If that makes sense.

Here’s what I say about rejection: I have finally come to understand that age-old adage: “This too shall pass.”

What’s your pithy takeaway about rejection?

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Lisa Alber is the author of KILMOON, A COUNTY CLARE MYSTERY (March 2014). Ever distractible, you may find her staring out windows, dog walking, fooling around online, or drinking red wine with her friends. Ireland, books, animals, photography, and blogging at Lisa Alber's Words at Play round out her distractions. Visit her at www.lisaalber.com.

This article has 14 Comments

  1. I don’t love rejection, it is definitely the nature of the beast when we take up writing as a passion. But I don’t agree that it isn’t a meaningful way to grow. I am very thankful for all the rejections I got on Expedition Indigo. Some I didn’t understand, some I didn’t agree with, but my take-away was always that people cared enough to read and evaluate and furthermore communicate to me what they saw as flaws, or obstacles to their loving the manuscript. I took what was said to heart, and some of it I agreed with, and some of the critiques I discarded. I came away with a much stronger story in the end, and eventually I ended up with a manuscript that had merit enough to finally get published. I know for sure my story is much stronger, and more interesting, than the initial manuscript I thought was ready. I do agree with you that rejection stinks. But I don’t know of any soul that hasn’t experienced it. I definitely took each rejection as a separate entity, and one person’s opinion. But sometimes, those opinions spoke to me in a way that made sense, and I got a bigger picture of where my story needed to go. I welcomed critiques because I absolutely, resolutely, and confidently know I cannot be objective about my own writing.

    1. Point taken, Stacy. 🙂 I guess I’m making the distinction between rejection and constructive criticism — separating them out in my mind. I’m just done with rejection for right now …

  2. I saw my ex-wife the day before yesterday, at a family funeral.

    Once upon a time, in what seems like another lifetime now, she walked out on me (a worse rejection than any agent or editor can possibly give you, by the way).

    At this point. decades later, who even cares? We hugged and we cried and we reminisced. The other stuff just falls away.

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