Rejection Sucks

Don’t like rejection? Congratulations! You’re human. That more than I can say for some people around here.

Rejection hurts. I know; I just received one. Unfortunately, it’s a part of life. The pain of it tells us we’re alive, or some crap like that. Writers, performers, and other artists, I think, more conscious of the fact of rejection. After all, we’re the crazies who put ourselves in position to face rejection time and time again.

When you create something, you give it a piece of your soul (for some people, these pieces grow back infinitely; for others…let’s just say it explains some things) and it leaves you deeply vulnerable. The pain of rejection cuts so much deeper when it’s your creation — your living, breathing child (or Pinocchio: he’s a real boy!) or your painting, a role you act or a score you play, or a story you write.

Unless you keep your baby in a dark, locked room and never allow it out in the world — I’m told Child Services looks poorly on that sort of thing — rejection is inevitable.

But much as it hurts, rejection is also a rite of passage. Whoever told you being a creator is easy should be flayed, flogged, and defenestrated. That person lied.

The very first story I submitted for professional publication met complete, underwhelming silence. So the day I received my first-ever rejection letter, I did a little happy dance because I finally felt like a REAL writer.

That was last year. This rejection — and it was really an incredibly nice rejection — makes two. Count them: T.W.O.

I’ve been writing with intent to publish for almost 19 years. That sounds a lot more depressing before you know I was eight years old when I figured out that’s what I want to do with my life. Still, my track record of taking that necessary step to realize my published-author dream is abysmal, and if you ask me why, I will have no real answer.

With my first rejection letter, I was just so happy to have something I could point to, to say I’m actually doing this thing I always said I would. This time is harder. I wonder if I’m really as good as I think I am. I wonder if those people who seem to love my stories will tell me where to find whatever they must be high on.

But the only way to find the validation I crave is to send my stories out — submit them again and again — until they start coming back with a YES.

This has been a PSA Pep Talk, brought to you by Arglefrargledargleblastit.

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13 thoughts on “Rejection Sucks

  1. Did you include a sparkly Draco Malfoy in your stories? That improves everything and is surely not copyright-infringement. πŸ™‚

    But seriously, keep your head up roomie! I’m sure I could do internet research and tell you how many times x author was rejected before she hit it big. You sent something out into the world and that is a beautiful thing. Keep trying!

    Love, your roomie for life (the one that isn’t married to you.)

    • You are fantastic and amazing as always. πŸ™‚ I wanted to post about rejection anyway (at least in the artistic/get-it-out-there sense), just because it’s a topic I felt like talking about. Then this rejection came in. It really couldn’t have been timed any better.

      I have another story out for submission with no idea when I’ll hear back, and I already know where I want to submit this just-rejected story next.

      So I’m really, honestly fine. I made this post because I’d really love to see some sort of discussion or dialog about rejection because it is such a part of becoming a published author (at least, traditionally published). I wasn’t fishing for the support, but I’ll certainly take it!

    • Oh, I’m fine! But thanks! Rejection is part of the process, and I just wanted to see some discussion — at least get my thoughts out there. I planned to write this post anyway, but I happened to have a well-timed rejection that helps to make me sound like I know what I’m talking about. πŸ˜›

  2. You’re probably already well aware of the way rejection is very often less to do with the awesomeness of the writing than the mood of the person who happens to be reading your manuscript that day and the literary climate at the moment. It could be that in a month, two months, a year, a decade, your story will be exactly what the publishing world’s looking for. Don’t give up. Keep sending it out. Keep writing while you’re waiting and learning as you write. Go back and revise your story, perhaps, if you start to reach your rejection limit. Infuse it with all the things you’ve learned or don’t. And send it out again. And again. And again. Because sending your story out is brave. And sending your story out is progress. And sending your story out is having it sent to the right place at the right time.

    • Can I find a way to keep you in my pocket? Or at least have a magic door in my house that connects us, because these occasional glimpses aren’t cutting it for me.

      My initial reaction when I read the email was something like, “Yay! I got another rejection! With feedback! Here’s proof that I’m actively working towards this!” (Ok, so they said in the submission guidelines that they try to give feedback, but still…yay!) Then by the time I left work, I realized I was slightly depressed, obsessing over whether or not my writing was ‘good enough’ and if maybe my stories weren’t as good as I thought.

      But I have a fast recovery. πŸ˜› I won’t say I was fine the next morning (what sort of mutated creature is fine in the morning?), but I was definitely over it by the end of that day. Honestly, I was more excited that it gave me fodder for this post. Now I’m just psyched to get the story out the door again…

  3. Rejection sucks, but I completely understand feeling both depressed and excited to receive one–especially one with comments! Congratulations on getting feedback with yours! ^_^

    Although you know this already, you should be ridiculously proud of yourself, not just for sending stories out (HUGE! So many people never get this far! *__*), but also for taking rejection in stride. ❀ Rejection really is part of life, and while people in the arts get hit with it more than most, nowadays applying for jobs is similar: many are rejected not because they lack good character or skills, but because the pre-existing work atmosphere doesn't quite fit the person applying.

    In conclusion: Congratulations on your rejection, kudos for getting comments on it (^__^), and finally, keep sending out your work. Your stories are awesome, and I can't wait to see them all shiny and published and becoming Real [Boys] Girls!! ^_~

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