Nobody likes rejection. It a great lead-in for psychotherapy. Writers, with their habit of spilling their hearts on paper, are particularly vulnerable. I know. I'm a writer, a therapist, and a human being. Sometimes it's tough to keep that all together in one head. So I decided it was time to work out some coping skills for The Write Rejection.
1. There are three types of The Write Rejection:
a. The Bad Rejection is a rude, outright no without any sappy apologies.
b. The Good Rejection is a rude, outright no with a lame excuse or a few scrawled words of encouragement like "good luck somewhere else."
c. The Un-Rejection is no response, as if you were scattered in the black hole of cyberspace or buried with sacks of USPS lost mail. If you're lucky, the paper rejection letter might resurface in fifty years when the mail sacks are discovered in an old train tunnel. The stamp will be worth something.
2. How can a writer cope? The first thing is to go out and purchase a pint of Hagen Daz Rum Raisin ice cream. It's not quite a drink, but it fits the bill. Of course, if you prefer Ben & Jerry's Fudge Nut Brownie or (shudder) a Triple Chocoholic Blizzard from Dairy Queen, who's to argue? Settle down with your favorite spoon (never a bowl) and go to town.
4. Stab your ice cream and ask the question: who rejected me?
5. Visualize the editors. Maybe your rejection came from the employee who just graduated grade school? Or the guy who had too many martinis for lunch? Think of their words of wisdom. The Diary of Anne Frank was rejected with the insightful observation that "the girl doesn't have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the 'curiosity' level." Rudyard Kipling was told, by the editor of the San Francisco Examiner, "you just don't know how to use the English language." Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos was tossed off with the comment, "do you realize, young woman, that you're the first American writer ever to poke fun at sex?"