Freelance writers must develop tough skin . . . writers in general should be able to take a little more abuse than the average citizen. There are far too many opinions for the words that I create not to collide with an opinion moving in another direction.
There will be rejections.
The other day my husband went with me to a shop just out of town. I went looking for a particular shirt that I had seen on the website for the store. The manager told me that they rarely had the online items in store. I learned something and we headed home.
My husband sighed – it was one of those cues that tells me something is wrong but that I am not sure I want to acknowledge because it might be me that is wrong. I bit the bullet that day. He suffered with me for a day of shopping so I would grin and bear his complaints.
“Is something wrong?”
He was quiet long enough that I started to wonder if he had heard me. He reached over and squeezed my hand. “At least I got to spend some quality time with my beautiful wife.”
I wanted to bask in the moment, but my paranoia refused to remain quiet. “What did that sigh really mean?”
“I have been working on find the positive first. I have been trying to find the positive first. You and spending time with you was the positive first. But I really was thinking how we just wasted all that time and found nothing.”
Now it was my turn to be quiet. I was the one that needed the new shirt. I was the one that left empty handed. But I learned something about the shop that I had not known before. I shared my revelation with my husband.
“See, you default to the good side.” He squeezed my hand again and smiled. “I am trying.”
My default may be the positive, but there are days when the rejections pile up and I struggle with that direction. It helps when the rejection is accompanied with something – ANYTHING. “I liked the story line.” “You have something unique here.” “Keep sending us ideas or stories.” The hollow rejection, like a copied note or just a space where a membership once sat, cuts deep for me. I struggle to find my default position and that leaves me floundering around for anything.
I remind myself that every opinion will not match my opinion. I remind myself that one rejection does not dictate my next direction. I remind myself that the only way to get to where I want to go is to take that next step. I remind myself that the hurt will heal in time even if I never find the reason behind the cut.
It does not always make it better, but it does make it possible to move on. My journey is not over because of one rejection.
How do you survive the pain of rejection?