This was a record setting week, but maybe not in the way that I would have wished.
This week I got five rejection letters.
In a era where many agents don’t bother to write back at all this is kind of an accomplishment. It also can be tough to deal with – but you have to if you want to publish your work traditionally.
So here are three ways that I’ve survived my rejection heavy week:
- I tried not to take it personally.
Honestly, I kind of hate when people say “don’t take this personally” because our emotions are personal and telling people not to feel things is an extremely jerky thing to do. However, in this case I think it’s important to remember that rejection letters aren’t a commentary on whether or not I’m a worthwhile person, they may not even have anything to do with whether or not I’m a good writer. It just means that in that moment my book wasn’t a good fit with that agent.
- I got frustrated.
This might sound counter intuitive to a post that’s supposed to be about survival but frustration is a whole lot healthier than what seems to be my other emotional default – despair. Frustration, to me, is about knowing something is possible and worthwhile and yet running into difficult roadblocks. It’s “Grrr….this is annoying” vs. “It’s hopeless. I suck as a writer. There’s no point in going on.” Rejection makes negative emotions inevitable, but channeling them toward frustration keeps me from spiraling into the depths of woe.
- I sent out more query letters.
For me the best way to make those rejection letters “water under the bridge” is to send out new letters – it turns my gaze hopefully forward to new possibilities. It also gives me hope, and in my opinion, having hope is the single best antidote for the depression of rejection.