Rejection. The bane of every writer’s existence. The thing is, if you are serious about trying to get majorly published, you need to send out a lot of submissions. Unless you are one of the rare, very fortunate golden few, the more stuff you send out, the more rejections you pile up.

Some tried and true (also some ridiculously made up) ways of handling them:

1. The delay the inevitable method.

Sometimes they arrive as a single timebomb. What you don’t see you don’t know about until you actually open your mailworn SASE or cyberworn email. So if you can resist the impulse to rip or click it open, you can pretend that it says something good for a while. Hey, it actually might. There are degrees of rejection and a really nice personal one can make your day. Treasure those.

2. Get it over with.

If you’re more the rip the bandage off type, tear the thing open to read the good, the bad, or the ugly…then listen to fun. and do as they sing. Carry On.

3. The hoarder.

There could be something good about collecting several rejections to torture yourself with at some indeterminable date. Maybe you have a birthday coming up and think it would help to open a bunch of rejections one after the other and then torch them all in a mini bonfire started with leftover candles. It might feel great, but only succeeds as a good idea if no firetrucks must be summoned as a result.

4. The Stoic.

This is a really good way to handle rejection. If you have the temperament for it. Open, read, shrug, go eat your way to the bottom of a half-gallon of gourmet ice cream, (Why, of course that was an error. I meant to type quart. Oh? Well, if you insist that a pint will suffice…) and go back to your regularly scheduled writing life.

5. The real, honest to goodness writes for the sake of the sheer joy of writing rejectee.

These are the truly blessed. The happiest of all writers. The ones who turn out beautifully written, engaging, soaring stories and novels that put writers in the category of true artists. Or the worst crap imaginable that still brings them joy from the process of doing it. The rejections don’t hurt the joyously impervious ones as much as mere mortals. They are only the fleeting annoyances that penetrate the fun only as gnats the next page or paragraph or chapter will sweep into the dim recesses of passing acknowledgment.

There’s actually one more kind of rejectioneer. They are a combination of all of the above. A composit that shifts and changes, depending on the state of the person’s life on any day a rejection or five hits their mailbox. They are brave and strong and resilient. They are the collective we. We who continue. Regardless. We who write because we must.