So this week we're talking rejection here at WordWranglers, not because we are experts on the subject, but because we've all experienced rejection in some way - writing and non-writing.
One of the hardest rejections I ever faced was outside the writing world. And it didn't even hurt at the time. How's that for a double-fisted blech-monster? It happened just over two years ago. My husband and I had just finished our homestudy and were matched to a child for adoption. We traveled four hours to a meeting with the foster parents and case workers of a toddler. To say we were nervous would be an understatement..I mean how do you 'sell' yourself when so many amazing people (just like you) are on adoption waiting lists?
Out of 300 families who applied, we were one of the 4 couples chosen as finalists. The day of our interview I stressed over makeup, my outfit, my shoes. I re-did three pages in our adoption scrapbook, practiced my smile in the mirror and had sweaty palms from about the time I woke up. In talking to the other finalists, we all pretty much reacted the same way. When they called us in, I calmed. I knew what to say, I held my husband's hand. We were together.
Two days later we learned we weren't chosen to be that kiddo's parents. I was crushed for about two minutes and then my mom's voice popped into my head: There is a plan for that little one and there is a plan for you and another kiddo who needs you. I won't say that I was immediately okay, but I kept repeating that phrase to myself. I made it my mantra because there was truly nothing I could do. The decision was not my decision to make.
The same is true with my writing. I can stress over what an editor or agent will think or do with a manuscript. Why they did or didn't like it. Or I can control my end of it: I can write the best book possible, I can edit it and I can send it out. From there, it's in someone else's hands. If a rejection comes, I repeat that mantra from the adoption meetiong: There is a plan. I'm not okay immediately. I wallow a little. Take a hot bath. Cry on my CPs shoulders and rant a little to the husband.
And then I go play with my kid - a baby we brought home from the hospital approximately 4 hours after we learned of her existence. A kiddo who has my husband's expressions and my short attention span even though she shares no biological ties with us. There was a plan for our family, and I believe there is a plan for my writing...and that is how I respond to the rejections.