Rejection: The Minor Key Musical Moment of Creativity
I've written about rejection several times before and here we go again. Why? Because it's a huge, annoying, disheartening part of any writer's life. No one escapes unscathed from rejection, and most writers will deal with it hundreds of times before they even find success.
There are days I feel like I'm in a Disney movie during the musical number after everything has hit bottom and I've been exiled. Kovu knows this feeling.
The truth of the matter is nothing makes rejection suck less. Some days those 'Not right for us' form rejections will roll off your back. Some days they cut into you with serrated knives and drag you down into the dirt.
How do you deal with rejection? There's no easy way, but here are a few ways that have helped me.
1. Walk away for a little while.
Sometimes you need some distance. Take a break, do something that makes you happy: play games, talk with friends, make memes on the Internet. Do something that brings you joy and refills that well of passion for creation.
2. Send out another submission.
One rejection in means one new submission out. Keep a list of where to submit and when that rejection comes in, turn around and send out another that same day. Always be submitting.
3. Get rid of that email/letter
Don't let that email hang around in your inbox. Delete it; archive it; file it away. Do whatever works for you, but don't just let it sit in front of you gut-punching you every time you go to read that chain email your Aunt Jean sent you.
4. Talk to another writer.
Don't turn it into a complainathon where bitterness festers, but talking to someone who has been through rejection can be wildly helpful. It's a nice reminder that there is life past the inevitable 'Thanks but no thanks' that shows up in your life.
5. Look at how much you've done.
I know. So cliché, but seriously sit back and look at what you've done. You've written several thousand words and sent it off for someone else to judge. That's the markings of a total warrior. That's brave and tenacious! Bask in your awesomeness for the moment then move on to the next project.
Rejection does not need to be the breaking point for you. There are countless stories out there of writers who pushed past rejections, who wrote 6 or 7 novels that never sold before ever hitting it big. You can keep at it. I mean, Kovu got the girl and the home he always wanted even after being exiled, so just think of rejection as your momentary, minor key song in the musical of your creative life.