I've done quite a few posts on querying and agents, so the topic of rejection has come up, but I haven't focused specifically on how one *handles* rejection.
So here we go. I'm daring to talk about the big R.
I could start out this post by saying the obvious: We're all there. We all face it. And it was a lovely friend of mine a week or so ago that reminded me that yeah, no matter what stage of the journey we're in, there's always going to be rejection.
But let's get to the dirty truth.
I've always prided myself on my ability to bounce back, brush things off, be strong. It's just the type of person I've always thought myself to be. <---Notice I used the word thought. But I'm going to share with you something that I'm a bit embarrassed about.
Last summer, I fell into the trap.
I became one of those "I'll be happy when" people. Ugh! Can you believe it??? I mean, how obnoxious are these types of people? They're miserable to be around, a torture to talk to, and nothing anyone says can affect their mindset.
I've never been one of those people before. Not until the R's started coming in from submissions. (To be clear, R's from query's didn't affect me--there are so many factors that bring those types of R's. But when it's an R on a submission, your actual story, that's a difference).
I didn't handle it well. Sure, I put on the "I'm fine" facade, but I went through a period where I began to doubt everything around me. Doubt my passion, my ability, whether or not I had wasted the last year of my life. I wasn't the person I wanted to be and I started to become someone I didn't recognize.
I also began to resent writers around me. I didn't like their perky posts I'd see on twitter or how someone was working on revisions and had a deadline they were stressing out about. (Don't worry close friends, these feelings were purely for people I didn't know... it's easier to dislike people you don't know, LOL)
Shame on me.
Long story short, I'm back. And because of where I am today, I would kiss every agent that gave me an R. I wouldn't change the last nine months of my life for anything. The perspective I've gained, the inner strength I've forged, and the priorities that have been lined. Not to mention how much stronger my writing's become. Like Ryan Greenspan said in a comment on this post, "All rejection should do is validate that our passion is writing, that writing is our calling. If it doesn't, then it isn't."
I hope that no matter where we are on this writing journey, we're not (or won't become) one of those "I'll be happy when" people.
How do you handle rejection? Do you internalize it? Let it brush off? Cry every day? (Lol) Or zap it with your super "I don't feel emotion, so I must not be human" power? I'd love to know your thoughts.
Red. Head. Out. :D