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The Loneliness of Rejection.

September 26, 2008

I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat. ~Sylvester Stallone

 

In following Anne Wayman’s postings on The Golden Pencil, I was struck by how openly she discussed her struggle with rejection for being left off the Top Ten Blogs for Writers after being on the hot list for two consecutive years.  As a beginning freelancer, this was balm on my soul. 

I don’t relish another writer’s failure, don’t get me wrong.  However, Anne’s confession proved to me that rejection is not something only newbie freelancers are facing.  Maybe this gave me hope.  Perhaps my optimism for my own future shot through the roof.  But I think why this resonated with me so much was because it reaffirmed that it’s acceptable to react to that big slap in the face.  In fact, it’s expected.  Many years down the road, even if I’ve earned my pass to success, I will still get those rejection slips in hand and they will still grind on me.  Anne’s post made me think…so what if I get irate when that happens?  Will anybody fault me for mashing the paper in my sweaty palm and throwing it halfway across the room?  Would that be so bad?  Is any writer supposed to take rejection easily?

I mean lets face it, rejection sucks big time.  Yet Anne recognizes that, in many ways, it’s a gift.  A lesson.  I think she’s right.  One has to use it as a call to arms.

I have to admire the fact that, not only is she willing to admit to her own defeat, but to also share with readers the voice of her lousy inner critic.  I know as writers, we all have one.  For me, it’s the niggly voice that demands perfectionism and delays my own progress in turn.  It makes me question and doubt myself when I should just trust my heart and judgment.  But it will always be there…I just have to learn how to put it in its place.

That’s why I’ve decided when embarking on my own writing career that I will save all my rejection slips and draw big, obnoxious smiley faces on them with the words: Their loss.

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