Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rejection Bites

Rejection in whatever form is immobilizing.  For however brief a moment it makes us doubt ourselves.  There's no way to soften its blow.  If you have a dream of any sort you know this.  A dream is fragile.  Reality is tough.  And the writing industry is a stellar example of the often long ride to success through a mine field of rejection.

Publication doesn't make one immune to rejection.  Publication just reminds us that we have met success once, twice, three times - we can do it again.  With the exception of a few wildly successful authors, there's always rejection and it can come from all sides - from another publisher, an agent, an attempt at another rung up the ladder, a different genre, a different story - the list is endless in its mutations.  What is real is that every attempt to succeed exposes one to the possibility of rejection.  But the only other option is quitting - and that might sound tempting when the rejection blues hit but ignoring and not nurturing a talent is a soul killing proposition.

A dream to act - circa 1920
one of the finds from my Grandma's scrapbook
So what do you do when you experience the bite of rejection?   

First remind yourself that if this hasn't happened before it is definitely going to happen again - the only way it won't is if you quit.  And we've already determined that quitting isn't an option - not if you're reading this blog and not if you were listening to my critique partner this morning who pretty much shouted at me in our chat - even though I was only threatening to quit in a brief pique of self-pity.  But after almost a decade together she knows me well and knew the threat was a lie. 

Often the naysayers have some valuable bits of information to move you forward to that next level because whether you want to admit it or not, that rejection more than likely had valid reasons behind it.  It wasn't personal.  Take a breath and listen, there is something there even if it's just the courage to keep moving forward

But before you do that - mope - lick your wounds and analyze your position, remind yourself of your successes and the people who are firmly in your corner.  Then push forward because no one has the power to kill your dream except you.

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I woke and found that life was duty. 
I acted and behold, duty is joy."   Rabindranath Tagore


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