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.