Rejection is something that we all must learn to live with, and it’s not always a bad thing. It’s all in how we choose to think about it. I’m sure about now you’re wondering— who the heck is she trying to kid?
We’ve all felt the sting of rejection, at one time or another, regardless of who we are. It’s just the way life is. But, the way I see it, if it wasn’t for the rejections in life the acceptances would be meaningless.
Think about it for a moment.
Try and imagine a world were we succeeded at everything we did. Where would the challenge be? I’d venture to say we might even find ourselves bored to tears. Would you even bother to try anything new if you knew there was absolutely no challenge, that you’d succeed on your very first try?
For most writers rejections are a dime a dozen and I’m no different. Though all my years of writing I have received a very impressive supply of rejection slips. And being the pack rat that I am I’ve saved each and every one. At the time it seemed to make good sense. It was proof of all my hard work on those days when I used to wonder if it was all worth it.
I’m called to remember a certain day, years ago, when I was tickled pink to have received three acceptances in one day for various short stories I had submitted. Just imagine…Three acceptances all in one day!!! I was on top of the world. I soon came back down when, shortly thereafter, I received four rejections in one day. Sounds quite impossible but it’s the truth. My, but the Universe does have a way of keeping us humble.
Most of my rejection slips are simple form letters. One is addressed to “Laurie.” (Have I mentioned I despise being called Laurie? Not that Laurie is a bad name…In fact, it’s a perfectly fine name…It’s just not my name) One editor thanked me for sending my poems…Um ….Poems?.. Hello….I sent a short story. One rejection letter even sent me back material that was meant for another writer. And no, in case you’re wondering, her name wasn’t Laurie.
On the flip side of that, I’ve also received some very lovely rejection letters with valuable bits of advice and words of encouragement that spurred me onward. Had it not been for some of those rejection letters I might have given up writing long before I ever received my first acceptance. That’s why I say that rejection is not always a bad thing.
But now I’m ready to say so long to all those saved rejection slips. It’s a brand new year not to mention a brand new decade. I no longer have room for those letters in my life. They’ve outlived their usefulness. I’m tired of them taking up space in my life. I’ve worked hard over the years. My acceptances are proof of that. No need to cling to that negative stuff anymore.