The Web site rejectioncollection.com puts submission in perspective. There are writers who work hard to dig deep on first draft (something we nurture at the Writer’s Workshop), and those who polish up what they create. But then there are those writers who submit work to publications, editors and agents. They all get rejected. But they persist.
How to keep your chin up and not take it personally? There’s a lot of advice at rejectioncollection. According to an interview with Elayne Savage, Ph.D, there are ways to tell if you’re hypersensitive to rejection:
Avoidance is one way to gauge it. Do you find yourself avoiding rejection at any cost — by not showing your work to others, or finding excuses not to submit that manuscript, or arriving too late at a tryout or networking function?
Savage’s book Don’t Take It Personally! was rejected 14 times before it sold. She had her own trials in getting past the rejection. “I knew I needed to be cushioned from all the rejection letters I expected to get, so I asked my agent not to send me any of them until after the book had been sold,” she says in the interview.
It’s good to share the pain, though, and rejectioncollection provides a forum for that. You get to read others’ letters, too. Some put the process in a new light:
We regret to inform you that, for whatever reason, your manuscript was not selected for publication.
Please note that this does not reflect upon you, as a writer, but upon we, as a publication.