I’ve been asked many times over my short career how I deal with rejection. At first I thought, why are you obsessed with knowing? I mean, it’s no fun being rejected. You know? Who likes to talk about that kind of stuff?
But I thought about it some more and realized the ones usually asking were the ones who hadn’t quite made it yet. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. We all deal with the not so fun things in life differently, but if one can come up with a way to make it a little less yucky we want to share it.
So, how do I deal with rejection? Speaking as I’ve had it happen quite recently, here’s my recipe for dealing with the big N-O.
First, I tend to read the email until it’s unreadable. I have the things memorized. This is what’s not quite up to part and this is what could be improved. It’s a little harder when there’s nothing other than the dreaded thanks but no thanks. It’s a little more difficult figuring what to work on when there’s nothing really spelled out.
Second, I tend to fire up the iPod and listen to the angry, loud, heavily-laden guitar tunes really, really, LOUD. I’ve got to get that pent up frustration out somehow (and since these things tend to come when the Cabana Boys aren’t around…). It works.
Third, I do one of two things. I either set the manuscript aside and let it percolate for a day or two. I don’t let it fester too much longer than that or I just chuck it for good and that’s never good. Or, if I do decide to work on it I do it right away. This has meant some really, really late nights twiddling, tweaking, and no cabana boys are involved. I’d love to say this has worked wonders, staying up and fixing. In reality, some of the sessions have produced some great passages while others just died on arrival.
But isn’t that what writing and creating is? Some really works while some doesn’t. What works for one publisher might not work at all for another. What you thought would originally rock in the story could in all honesty fall flat. Can you work with the rejection or just quit?
Now that I’ve gotten all philosophical on you… I try, even though it’s really hard sometimes, to remember that this story might not be right, but it can be right. Someone will be willing to make the diamond shine—even if it has to be me before I send it out into the world again. You have to do what you have to do if you want to get past the hurt of rejection and find the sweet victory in those cute little words, “I’d love to publish this work with you. Here’s your contract.”
In closing, my advice is this: give yourself time to be hurt. It’s going to for a little bit. Then keep plugging away. Giving up is the ultimate rejection. Keep going, keep believing, and you’ll get there. You’ve got my vote!
About the Author: When she’s not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don’t seem to mind.
When she’s not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school.
She enjoys writing in all genres, but writing about men in love suits her fancy best.