I’ll give you a few minutes to uncurl out of the fetal position. I apologize for not labeling that title with a trigger warning.
The fear of rejection is probably what keeps most writers from writing. You would think that a writer would just write anyway and not send it out if they feared rejection, but that’s not the case. The thought of rejection is paralyzing. For years I kept my first book Soprano Trouble tucked away in a forgotten folder on my computer because of the fear of rejection. I know the feeling all too well.
I’m not sure that anyone ever gets to the point where a rejection doesn’t sting at all. They just get to the point where they can cope and move on. Take heart. It is possible. Here are seven ways to help you cope:
1. Fizzy Drinks
Never underestimate the power of a sweet, bubbly drink. Those fizzies are as pleasing to the ear as they are to the palate. Let the carbonation soothe your bruised soul as the bubbles carry away your sorrow. My latest fizzy drink of choice is Sparkling Ice Lemonade.
2. Fishing for Compliments
This is generally frowned upon in most areas of life, but a writer needs a good tribe of friends who won’t hesitate to boost them up with compliments on the heels of a rejection. When someone has said “Thanks, but no thanks,” a round of “we love you, you’re the best” is as calming as aloe vera is to a sunburn.
3. Meme Wars
This is generally carried out by your tribe online. Simply post your need, then laugh as your friends post the funniest memes they can find. This is actually a Biblical concept. You can find it right in Proverbs 17:22 – “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
4. Ice Cream
Turn those rejections into a celebration with an ice cream treat each time one comes in. If an agent or editor or publisher is going to reject your work without even discussing your full vision with you, then that was not going to be the right fit anyway. You can celebrate the fact that you know for sure that that person is not the right one to help you with your career.
5. A Reminder
It’s up to you how you want this reminder to look. You can put a post-it note on your mirror. You can put a reminder in your phone to alert you every day. You could hire an artist to paint it on a pallet and hang it on your wall. But make sure your reminder says this: God’s love for you is complete. He will not love you more if you are successful. He will not love you less if you fail. He wholly and completely loves YOU.
And really, it’s the reminder that helps me move on from the rejections I’ve faced. And it will help me move on from the ones that are sure to come. Because that’s a writer’s life.
You can do it.
How do you cope with rejection?