Dealing with Rejection

My Rejection Jar
My Rejection Jar

Nikki Loftin made an interesting comment on my post about looking for an agent.  She’s noticed how much more painful personal rejections are than form letters.  She knows several writers who quit when they started getting these painful, personal rejections.

For me, there isn’t always a lot of rhyme or reason to how I handle rejection.  Some personal letters rock me back.  Others, not so much.  I don’t think it has a lot to do with the letter itself but what else I have out, whether I have another market in mind for the project, and what else is going on in my life.

But for the times that I take it particularly badly, I have the Rejection Jar, as recommended to me by writing buddy Julie Douglas.  The jar contains a variety of slips of paper.  Each slip lists a “gift.”

When I get a rejection that really messes me up, I reach into the jar and pull out a slip.  Then I get whatever is on that slip.  It might be a trip to walk the local labyrinth or an hour in a yarn shop.  I’ve also included time to do a puzzle or sit and knit.  I might even get to go to the local coffee shop for a cup-a and a delicious pastry.

For me, a bit of pampering works.

What would work for you?


7 thoughts on “Dealing with Rejection

  1. What a great idea! Got to get me one of those jars….
    except no pastries for me. If I had a sweet for every rejection, I wouldn’t be able to move!!!
    But I could live with a massage, or a movie, or a latte….
    Thanks, Sue.

    1. You’re welcome, Nikki.
      Remember though — I don’t gift myself with every rejection. Just the ones that really bother me.
      Part of the reason I can do it that way is that some of my work is submitted in batches, such as when a publisher I work with wants craft how-tos for a series of 5 workbooks. If I submit 15 pieces and only 4 are accepted, I’m all jazzed about the acceptances and excited to get the other 11 back out to other prospective publishers.


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