Rejection is a Four-Letter Word

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Dealing with rejection

 I’ve always said that I would wallpaper my bathroom with the rejection letters that I receive. I got another one for that bathroom wall yesterday. Ouch. They never get any easier to take.

 Although, I feel it’s a positive thing that I’ve moved beyond the form letter rejection. I actually have personal comments written on the rejection letters from the agents and editors from which I have I’ve queried or submitted. That gives me hope. But, I’m at the point right now, that I really feel like I need to publish – something, anything – to keep my creative spirit from being overly wounded.

 That’s where the coping mechanism comes into play. I have a few reactions to rejection notes:

 a)      The more animal part of my brain wants complete debauchery. I let loose ala Hunter S. Thompson style. I tell my friends and say I need to go to a loud concert, drink too much whiskey and flirt with unsuspecting young men. That’s the favorite coping mechanism. But, yesterday’s rejection letter comes during a household move. I can’t really go all punk-rock Iggy Pop when I don’t even know which box my combat boots are in or where my dance-till-you-drop night club clothes are either.

 b)      Second choice is always the “I’ll show them” tactic. I rewrite the damn thing and send it to their competitor. I drink copious amounts of coffee and tea. And revise and rewrite until not any comment from the critique could be reapplied to my writing. However, yesterday’s rejection did not inspire that because, well, it just didn’t. We’ll leave it at that.

 c)      Third tactic is to get my house in order. The desk gets cleaned up, the refrigerator cleaned out, the flower beds get weeded and during the process I normally get new ideas. The new ideas may be revisions, new stories or even new thoughts on who would really do best to receive my work. This is the tactic I’m using today.

There are other coping mechanisms possible, for sure. Tell me what you do, maybe your suggestions might be more healthy than my number one choice of too much whiskey and dangerous flirting. Those are just mine. Well, that and putting the rejection letters in a box to create that bathroom wallpaper with upon the day that I move from simply writer to author.

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