Over the summer, my family traveled to Las Vegas (and SouthDakota) to visit family. While I was in Vegas, my mom asked me to sing with the women’s ensemble at her church. Funnily enough, the sermon was about coping with rejection.
Of course, as a writer, my mind immediately connected the pastor’s points to writing and all the rejection we deal with as writers.
He gave three ways to cope with rejection: Realism, Reinforcements, and Refuge.
Realism: Rejection happens. It happens to everyone—even the best of the best. I mean, if J.K. Rowling got rejected? Then, yeah, I’m pretty sure EVERYONE can expect some. So, expect it. It is coming in some form or fashion, and you will have to deal with it.
Reinforcements: You can’t do it alone. Every successful writer out there had help. Just look at a few Acknowledgement pages in your favorite novels. All those people the author mentions? REINFORCEMENTS. Become part of a community or critique group of people who can help you get better and see your work more clearly than you can by yourself.
Refuge: Sometimes the rejection becomes too much. It’s okay. Everyone has had a rejection that hurt more than the rest. Or got overwhelmed by too much of it. So take refuge. Get away from the rejection for a while. Go participate in another hobby. Get out of the house. Or, you know, watch all five seasons of PSYCH on DVD. ;)
So how do you cope with rejection? I tend to be fairly pragmatic, so Realism seems to be my default, although I have had to turn to my reinforcements or my refuge. Or PSYCH. :P