Four years ago I wrote a post about rejection that I often visit because it helps me cope when rejection rears its ugly (or maybe not so ugly) head.
I have to constantly remind myself that rejection is part of the business. It’s part of life. I thank others who share stories of their rejections, like Kate DiCamillo and her 473 rejections and Drew Daywalt and his tweet: “Dunno if you know this but The Day The Crayons Quit was rejected by every publisher for 6 years before it sold to @PhilomelBooks #keepwriting”
It reminds me that I’m not alone: that other writers (even the most successful) experience rejection. And as much as we hate it, curse it, dread it, rejection can be healthy. It can keep you grounded, make you strive to get better, and force you to look deep inside to find out what’s important to you. It begs the question “Am I tough enough?”
So, when you get those rejections, think about what they can do for you. Maybe you’ll read more, study more, seek out critiques and learn to welcome them with open arms, and write more stories and less posts 😉
and if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll influence a life along the way, without even knowing it, as I was fortunate enough to have done years ago and continue to do…
(below from Feb 11, 2013)
Is so hard to take. The first few rejection letters made me cry. The next few made me angry. Soon after, I simply became numb. Then finally, the numbness subsided and I grew determined. Determined to defy the odds and be one of those writers that emerges from the slush pile and gets discovered.
It was not until recently, when I took some time to look back on my journey towards publication that I realized I had experienced these phases of growth. In retrospect, I appreciate the rejection, I am indebted to it. It’s changed me.
Rejection has made my writing stronger, made me tougher and made me much more determined to succeed. After all, anything that’s difficult to achieve is that much more rewarding, right?
But that’s not really what this post is about. Rejection did something so much bigger than that. It affected me in a way I would have never expected. It affected me as a mom. Something happened while I was grappling with my rejection letters, something remarkable…something unexpected, something invaluable. I discovered it during my parent/teacher conference.
My girls (twins) are in the fourth grade, so a parent/teacher conference is nothing new to me. I went in hoping for a glowing report from the teacher and a chance to peek at my daughters’ work. I met with the teacher, received the glowing report I had hoped for, but then, to my surprise, I received something much more.
In my daughter’s Hero paper I read this…
Right then and there I knew what rejection was to me – an opportunity to do something invaluable – to teach my children to NEVER give up! I could have told them this but showing is so much more effective. I had no idea that my daughter was watching. No idea I was her hero because I didn’t give up. And I still haven’t.