I found this quote in my inbox this morning, courtesy of insightoftheday.com. It was the epitome of what I felt yesterday and still, a bit this morning.
Rejection. That sting of not winning a contest, or not getting a reply from an editor or getting a reply that says “you suck.” OK, not exactly those words, but it feels like that is what they’re saying, right?
Then, yesterday, another blow to my writer’s ego. The “Silent Character Contest” judge should have emailed me to announce that I won the Grand Prize. Alas, after obsessively methodically refreshing my email, there was no winning message. There was no message from this judge at all. My heart sank when I read on their website that the Grand Prize winner was…not me. I worked on this short fiction piece for weeks, editing, rewriting, eliminating unnecessary words, letting it sit and then coming back to bleed on it again. My efforts were not completely unrecognized; my story did make it past the 2nd round of judging. But it was a rejection, just the same.
What did I do? You’re expecting a ballad to play here as I triumphantly declare, “As God as my witness, I will never go hungry again!” OK, enough of the Gone with the Wind melodrama. I didn’t cry, but felt like I could. I shared the news with my husband who was most sympathetic. I also posted on my writers’ group blog, my support system, the wind beneath my wings…Seriously, though, just typing how I felt, I knew these writer mamas would understand. Family and friends are wonderful, but a fellow writer truly feels your pain in rejection.
These wonderful women sent me virtual Frappachino’s, chocolate and hugs. But most effective were their words of encouragement. The “it’s OK to feel this way, but get back on that bronco and rein in an acceptance, cowgirl!” Things I knew but needed reminding. I cannot say enough about the positive chi that comes from a writers’ community, whether local or virtual. Go get yourself one!
And, for more words on how to handle rejection, check out the last two posts & comments on Stories of life: one mom’s odyssey. Then come back and share your sorrows of rejection here!