My previous post about rejection was so peppered with tongue-in-cheek stuff that I wanted to also say this.

Rejection is a serious part of aiming your life at becoming a professional writer. Short stories, novels, screenplays…they all may run smack into brick walls. Even when they’re good.

Rejection is difficult to take, especially when it seems endless. It can, and should, be shrugged off whenever possible. When that’s not possible it has to be endured to the point that it becomes something that makes a writer stronger, or wise enough to get out of a situation that makes them so miserable that they need to find something else that makes life better instead of worse.

A couple of things that can help when dealing with it:

1. Try to stagger submissions. At least a little. Sending out a number at once, especially to markets with rapid response times, may mean getting back a rejection barrage. It’s hard enough to open and digest a couple in one day. Five at a time feels like they’re being shot out of a cannon at your head. I know. I got five on my birthday once. 

2. Know that you aren’t alone in it. Rejection is a part of the serious writing life. Aspiring writers get rejected a lot, but it’s my understanding that famous, successful authors aren’t immune to it. It depends on the person reading a piece on a given day. Each time something is read is one subjective moment. The next person may love it. There’s no predicting it.

It really comes down to what I’m always coming back to. When you know in your gut that it’s what you’re supposed to do, hang on to your hope and dreams. But when it comes to rejections season them with a dash of practicality, a pinch of realistic expectations,  and don’t even think about wearing the rose-colored glasses.