Wow, this was long ago…
|photo via VacenTaylor.com|
How to Avoid the Rejection Blues
I’ve never been a great believer in avoiding anything. For me, life has always been about encountering, not avoiding. The rejection blues is no different. The basic principle behind my thoughts about this subject comes from when I was studying counselling. And perhaps, I should rearrange the title of this blog to: “How to Encounter the Rejection Blues and Move Forward”.
Don’t think for a minute I haven’t received a rejection letter. I also don’t want you to think that I haven’t experienced the rejection blues. I have experienced both many times. Yes, I know that feeling of disappointment. The lowering of my head, shoulders slumping and that sinking feeling as my eyes travel over every word of the rejection letter.
Thank you again for the opportunity to consider your manuscript, and for your patience in awaiting our response.
We have given your submission serious attention and even though your work is intriguing, unfortunately we have decided not to pursue it further.
Blah & Blah.
STOP! Just for a moment. Feel all of that? This is where I tend to do things differently to what others will tell you. They might say, “Don’t worry about it.” Or they might say, “It’s subjective, just get over it.”
I say allow yourself to feel the way you need to. However, we are talking about feelings, not thoughts. These are two different things entirely. If you feel sad then allow yourself some time to feel sad. If you feel angry then allow yourself some time to feel angry. Do not, I repeat, do not dismiss those feelings. Experiencing these feelings is the very best way to allow yourself to pass through the stages of a rejection. It can be much like grief and loss in a way.
In my opinion it is best to concentrate solely on the feelings at this point, not thoughts. Say out loud, “I feel sad.” Or “I feel angry.”
Here’s the tricky part when it comes to thoughts, and they will be hovering. You know the ones I mean. They slide in, the defeatist thoughts, the negativity and the thoughts of worthlessness. My writing sucks. I’ll never be published. I’ll never become a good writer.
This is where a different type of strategy is needed. Commit to your own positive self-talk and affirmations. Sometimes this does require you to listen to what you’re saying to yourself and then change your negative self-talk into positive self-talk. “I believe in what I’m doing.” “I’m becoming a better writer with each day I write.” “Is there anything I can do better to help me become a great writer?”
Decide then and there if you can improve anything. There’s always room for improvement. Remember: even the best writers experience rejection. The difference is they DON’T give up. When you have experienced your feelings and committed to your positive self-talk then you can carry on. Keep writing!