One day last week, I got a massive headache and decided to go to bed early. But, before I went, I thought it would be a good idea to check an email account that I don’t look at every day. You know what I found in my inbox? Rejection letters. Lots of them.
I’ve been writing for years, and getting rejected still hurts. I’ve sent enough rejection letters to know that the rejection is just one editor’s subjective opinion, but that doesn’t change how rejection feels. It feels like someone is confirming that I really do suck as much as I believe I suck. It makes me feel like I’m wasting my life on something futile. It shakes the microscopic amount of confidence that I have in myself as a writer.
However, as I deleted my latest batch of rejection, I realized that I wasn’t as devastated by these letters as I have been by past rejections. When I got rejections as a teenager, I would get so angry at myself that I wouldn’t write for weeks. I’ve matured a lot since then, but I think the biggest difference is in the number of projects that I’m doing. I have a lot going on, and I’m super excited about some of it. The rejections didn’t hurt as much this time because I could easily shift my focus to the other projects. I didn’t have time to dwell on the sucky-ness of rejection.
So, I think the moral of the story is to write more after rejections, not less. It’s hard to be upset about one rejected project when you have a dozen other projects going on.