Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Facing the Facts - Dealing with Rejection
I'd like this post to be more interactive than my last several posts. So to do that, I'd like to ask all of you a question.
How do you deal with rejection?
With my work currently making the rounds through New York, it's a fact of life that not everyone's going to love it. Lot's of form letters will come back, lot's of terse answers and lot's of rejection.
We all develop our own strategies for dealing with this. My preferred strategy is blissful denial and unbridled optimism. I've heard of writers who wallpaper their entire room with rejection letters. This, me to seems defeatist and bizarre. I handle my rejections differently. When a rejection note comes, I read it, trying to gleam any useful information that it may contain (if it is a personal letter with direct references to my work. Form letters are of no value) then I file the letter away in a file clearly labeled "Try Again."
Now, this might seem Pollyanna or sugar-coated to you, but I'll tell you it's a lot more positive and focused to get a letter, call it a try-again letter and file it accordingly. And truth is, I've gone back to the try-again file, pulled out a letter, contacted that person and had success at a later date. Persistence pays off. Never take "no" for an answer. Just keep pushing straight ahead.
As Robert Dugoni, the best writing teacher I've ever had says, "Be a bulldog."
So I'm a bulldog, and bulldog's don't accept rejection.
What's your strategy?