Thursday, June 20, 2013

How do you deal with rejection?

Everyone has to deal with it at some point in their lives.  Either professionally or personally, or perhaps both, and some of us seem to have to deal with it more than others.  Why is that?  
Given the artistic fields, whether art, music, writing, etc… is all about people’s likes and dislikes, seems like people in those fields have to deal with a big share of it.  More than most?   Or does it just seem like that?
So how do you gird yourself to not let the rejection not destroy your creative ability?
Or at least damage it to the point you really falter at it.    Or at least your belief in it, and yourself.
And yes, I can understand how to do it when it is an impersonal thing.  But I have seen more than one writer severely damaged by another giving ‘helpful critiques’ that were, if not meant to be personal, certainly came across as such.  And not in a good way.   Which was certainly damaging.  Very damaging.   I also know how that can be cloaked as blame of someone taking it too personally.  Well, yeah, since that is the way it was meant, isn’t it.   No?  Maybe everyone needs to take an honest look at themselves before they say anything.
I’ve seen way too many passive aggressive people to believe that everyone means you well.
So how do you determine?
How do you sift the good stuff from the personal jealous or attacking type?

I saw an interesting take on it I hadn’t seen before.
From Chuck Sambuchino.

He talks about rejections, how they can be demoralizing and hard to decipher.
A lot of us know all about those.

Interestingly though, where most of what I’ve read talk about mining the rejections to see what you can take away - looking at it objectively….. Uh, yeah, perhaps some of us can do that, and most can eventually.  Maybe.
But Chuck Sambuchino’s take on it is to not try to analyze them, but to just push through them.

Huh.   I can see the wisdom of looking at rejections from the point of view of if everyone is telling you the same thing then perhaps you need to take another look at something.  Even if it’s just not the right timing or market right now.
Which is sort of like what he says.

So for all of you who are losing faith in your skills, read this.   And keep on writing.
If nothing else, in the comment section below.   Hey, it’s writing.  *Grin*

From the Editor

Rejection is a part of writing -- even if you're an agented writer or have some credits under your belt. No matter what you write, it will likely get rejected, possibly many times. What makes rejections frustrating is that oftentimes they are vague or even contradictory. They can be demoralizing and hard to decipher. 

The most important thing you can do concerning rejections is not try to analyze them, but rather simply push through them . Plenty of times, when editors say no, they are simply saying "This particular piece of material is not for me personally at this moment in time." In other words, it's up to you the writer to keep composing new works and submitting them. 

Case in point: Back in 2008, I wrote my first two children's books. Both got rejected by every agent I queried. I didn't fret, because I got busy writing humor books and reference titles. I believed perhaps the kidlit writing world was just not for me. But something strange happened recently. I submitted another picture book on a whim that was co-written with a friend. Within a few days, we got multiple offers of representation and had signed with a children's book agent (Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary). Quite the whirlwind weekend. 

I tell you this because I had basically given up on that realm of writing. I had lost faith in my skills and let the rejections get to me, and I'd stopped moving forward. When I finally started again and focused on a goal, an amazing thing happened. Move past rejection. Keep writing! Good things will happen.

Until next time, good luck writing, agent hunting, and building your writer platform!

Chuck Sambuchino 

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