Saturday, March 17, 2012

Handling Rejection

Do you remember those days when you were still in high school or college and you really liked a guy? The hot one on the football team, or the one with the amazing singing voice? Do you remember those butterflies in your stomach each year as prom rolled around and you anxiously waited for him to ask you to go? Or did you ask him? I remember such a time. My friends told me he would ask me, and I waited and waited. I think I lived in more fear that someone else would ask me first and I wouldn't know what to say. Would I say 'no' in hopes that the guy I really liked would ask me? Or did I say 'yes' anyway because I really wanted to go, and just hope that I wouldn't have to tell my crush 'no'? I remember the huge rose I received when my crush did finally ask me. I was elated and giddy with joy. I had never seen such a large rose before! I was the envy of all my friends. I was truly on cloud '9'! Of course there was also that horrid year when someone asked me and I said 'yes' simply because I was a sophomore and didn't think anyone else would ask me. Of course, I didn't hardly know the guy and he was so tall, he intimidated the snot out of me. Now, this pains me to admit, but when I caught wind that this really hot senior was going to ask me to go, I battled with my emotions and feelings. I really wanted to go, but I wasn't certain the hot guy would ask me. After a couple days, I made my decision. I told the first guy I didn't really want to go with him. (I think he was really disappointed, the poor guy.) Then I waited for the hot guy to ask me. After a couple more days, he did, only to change his mind the next day and ask another senior. Of course, I only found out about it from a friend, and when I got the guts to ask him about it, he just shrugged me off. It serves me right! Anyway, the other day, I received a rejection on my manuscript from the publisher that I have really been hoping would take my ms. (Not quite the same as prom, but devastating in its own right.) Rejection is never an easy thing to handle. Of course I felt like dirt and that my writing was horrid. All I wanted to do all day was crawl under the blankets, have myself a good cry, and eat too much chocolate ice cream and read someone else's book! But alas, I had to go to work and tough it out. After stewing about it for a while, I realized that I'm not worthless. And though my writing isn't perfect and fabulous, it doesn't suck either. The editor actually sent me a pretty lengthy correspondence of notes, which tells me that she at least sees the value and potential of the story! (whew) Often, editors say, "sorry, but no," and that's it. So I'm grateful she gave me her thoughts. I think the best thing for me when I receive a rejection on my ms, is to wait a couple days and not even look at it! Then, take the time to look through the comments and focus on the good parts. Then, after that's bolstered my confidence, I look at the critiques and see how I can make it better. Because that's really what a critique is - advice on how to improve. I still find rejection hard, but I hope that with each rejection I receive, I can make my story better, tighter, and more enjoyable to read!

1 comment:

Dean Lorimer said...

Rachel, I'm so sorry this avenue didn't work out that way you had hoped. It's never easy to hear a "no". I think you have the right attitude about it, though; you'll improve your work and someone else will fall in love with it. You're in our prayers.

Also, I know first hand how difficult it is to write about the times when things don't work out. You wrote this quite a bit more bravely than I wrote about mine, so I give you huge props on this post. You're a wonderful, brave woman.

Love you!