We’re told rejection is all just part and parcel of being a writer.
We’re also told that constructive rejections will help us improve as writers.
In fact we’re told or have read about a million different things about the submission-rejection-repeat process that are designed to make it a little easier to cope with.
And as such I think we’ve probably all got our own ways of dealing with rejection.
Mine are pretty straight forward. First of all I accept that not everybody likes everything, and as such it is entirely possible you’re going to run into editors who don’t like what you write. I also try to remember there’s more than one reason for a rejection, that it doesn’t necessarily mean ‘your manuscript sucks’, though it might.
I think the best thing I can do to help me cope with rejection is to cultivate confidence in my own work. This is a fairly new thing for me, in the past I’ve written stories and sent them without being completely happy with them, and of course it only takes one or two rejections for my fragile confidence in these stories to be shaken enough to relegate them to the bottom draw. Having learnt from this process I now make sure I’m completely happy with a story before I send it anywhere, the plot ties up nicely, the characters behave in a consistent manner, and there are no questions left hanging over the story. This way it takes more than a few rejections to shake my confidence and I send them straight back out whenever I get a knock back.