In a perfect world, rejections would be crafted constructively and in a nice tone… But, we don’t live in that world.
Reading the sometimes harsh criticism on a piece you’ve poured your heart and soul into is hard. Of course, no one ever said getting published was easy.
To make it you’ve got to walk through the fires of rejection and criticism. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t get what you are trying to do or simply doesn’t like your work.
Look at J.K. Rowling…. Harry Potter was rejected a bunch before it was accepted anywhere. That little fact always makes me feel worlds better. If HARRY FREAKING POTTER can get rejected, then hey, it can happen to anyone! Which means you’ve still got a fighting chance!
Everyone gets rejected at some point. Knowing this makes it less scary and more manageable. So with that in mind…
Here are four tips that help with rejection!
1. Set down the rejection and walk away. When you receive the verdict on your piece, open the email/letter and read what the verdict is. Once you see the rejection (I mean hopefully it says accept… but this blog post isn’t about that) just walk away from the email/letter.
I find it helps to break the rejection up into manageable pieces. First, I just give myself time to process the rejection. Sometimes if I’m feeling daring I’ll skim over the first few comments on why, but then I always set it down and leave it for a night. The next day I’ve accepted the rejection and am in a better mindset to read the critiques.
Reading through the comments on why a piece isn’t accepted can be challenging when the feedback is harsh, because you can’t help but feel that it is a personal attack.
I treat these harsher comments the same way I treat the rejection. I read through them all, then I walk away. Once I’ve allowed myself ample time to get past the rude comments I return back to the feedback. Somewhere in all that reviewer’s vitriol is usually some truth. Read past the rudeness and find the truth of the review/feedback.
Take those truthful pieces and make them work for you! Make the changes and make your piece stronger. The best feedback can be hard to read because it is true and you know it. The reviewer has found a hole in your armor.
Be strong though. This is your trial by fire and you are in control. You can either let the feedback strengthen your piece by making the needed changes or you can go up in the flames and let it consume you. You have the power! So let the critique start to fuel you and make you stronger! See it as a chance for growth and as a chance to prove that person wrong! This is a chance for growth, not defeat.
3. Have a trusted friend that is familiar with the rejected piece, or an awesome academic advisor, read the feedback. If your advisor is awesome like mine, then they’ll write funny responses to the ruder comments you receive. This makes it easier to bear. This third person can also help you pick out those truthful pieces of the feedback (sometimes the most truthful pieces are buried among the snark and this person can help separate the two). This person can help you take a step back and see the piece and feedback you got realistically.
4. Rejection is part of the process. Like I mentioned before, rejection is just part of the field you’ve chosen. You’ve chosen this field though because you are tough enough to take it. Still, every once in a while it helps to know that everyone gets rejected… even J.K. Rowling, who created one of the bestselling series of all time.
How do you manage rejection? Do you have any tips or tricks? If so, share them in the comments!
On A Completely Unrelated Note…
The drawing quest with colored pencils continues! Check out this blog for tips on drawing feathers and fur! It’s the best I’ve found so far for step-by-step instructions!