I don’t seek out rejection. Like most of us, I’ve gotten it my whole life. Actually, by now I should have the process of receiving it handled, and it’s surprising that I’m not in therapy due to its amazing, blunt force. Though the co-pay is enough to keep me out of those offices.
I’ve set myself up to expect to have my work turned down, I think. Like I knew my work wasn’t good enough anyway so it’s an impossibility it would be accepted. Submissions in vain weren’t the intention . . . and I’m keeping it together. Mostly, because I know The Silent Partner doesn’t stink.
As I progress through rewriting, revising, and adding and subtracting, I’ve realized that like with everything, the pursuit of the best possible work is what’s been keeping me going. The process of submissions and awaiting the next rejection should be more emotionally draining than it’s been. (Oh my God, the pressure.) Watching other writers go through their own exercises is inspiring, too, as much more seasoned writers struggle for an audience. I am not alone!
Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers talks about 10,000 hours of work being the magic formula to success. Do the work . . . invest the time, energy, and talent . . . even create the talent . . . and you’ll have something. That’s how I’ve broken it down, anyway.
For me, the rejection process has taught me discipline. It’s made me work harder to reach my goal of publication. I’ve been attentive to constructive criticism, sometimes un-constructive criticism, learned some new valuable techniques, discovered more of what I do and don’t do well, and–most importantly–became better.
For that . . . and all the rejection in the world . . . it’s worth it.