Stop Whining. It’s Another Day. Don’t Waste it. Back to Work.

Rejection sucks.

There is no sugarcoated way to ease the drop in the stomach.

Everyone knows that, right?

Because everyone, at one point or another, has been rejected. By someone who was once a friend. By a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

Rejection knows no border.

Wherever we live, whatever language we speak, the aftermaths feel pretty much the same.

For writers, the rejection of a manuscript brings the exact same disappointment, sadness, and yes a little bit of anger and resentment.

I am like anyone else and I cannot pretend that a rejection letter or e-mail doesn’t stink, doesn’t suck, and doesn’t hurt.

It does and always will. Period.

Yesterday I received a short e-mail listing the titles of the three stories that were selected for a small French anthology.

It was a contest, really, and I had good hopes to be part of the selection.

My heart sunk and my thoughts were as gloomy as the weather.

As I was ready to slam my laptop shut, my eye caught two other e-mails.

One from my blogger friend Teagan.

She had reblogged an interview of little me and my first novel Trapped in Paris done a little while ago by Kimberly, another blogger friend of mine.

The second email came from Jennifer who is designing the cover of my second novel Chronicles From Château Moines. She was sending me a batch of cover designs to choose from.

I took a deep breath and a small smile came to my mouth. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Yes, I was hurting. Perhaps even more because I had written the story in my native French. No wonder we call our native language our mother language. This rejection hurt as much as one from a mother. I was competing against other French speakers and they had preferred others to me. Like a mother favors a child.

Then I thought that some of my work had won over other submissions written in English, a language that I had to tame. One word after another. Again and again.

It helped to think that way. A little.

 

My first thought when I woke up early this morning was about this (feel free to add your favorite adjective here) rejection.

Through my sleepy eyes and murky mood I saw the lake sealed under the fog. Great.

photo-304

I buried my head under my pillow.

Why would I wake up? What for? Nobody likes me. Even the weather is against me.

When one of my stories or novels is rejected, this is how I feel. Not you?

I still got out of bed and picked my clothes from the day before.

Why would I even change in clean clothes? Nobody cares.

As I made my way to the bathroom, a feeble but distinct ray of light fell right upon my head. I looked up. This summer my husband has replaced a very old window under the gabble. Now it’s like the outside and the inside blend together.

Beyond the ageless oak trees, the sun was waking up too.

Unlike me, with beauty, grace, and hope.

photo-305

Mechanically, I got my phone and stepped outside.

I took a few quick photos. It was pretty chilly outside.

As I made my way down to the lake, this is what I saw.

photo-306

Back inside the cabin I brew coffee.

My story was still on my mind. Good.

The rejection was fading.

Maybe, this is perfect that way. You get to keep your story and you could add it the book you are working on. It would be good.

By now the sun was trumpeting its way inside the kitchen.

photo-307

Stop whining.

It’s another day.

Don’t waste it.

Back to work.

 

 

I already wrote on the topic of rejection and have read beautiful posts about the feelings associated with it. Still, if you need to, pour your heart right here, in the comment box.

 

Comments

  1. I like this post for so many reasons. I hope you don’t mind if I share it.

  2. Reblogged this on West Coast Review and commented:
    I like this post for so many reasons… read it, share it. Any creative professional will know the feelings and frustrations. And of course, the photographs are beautiful and calming.

  3. Oh, friend, I SO feel you here.

    I think that I just do exactly what you did: I put on my big girl pants, mope around a little, then face the things that need to be done that way and keep pressing on. It rots. It really does. Putting a story out there is like giving away a piece of your heart, only to find it stomped on in the gutter.

    Fortunately, you can pick it up, brush it off, and keep walking. Which you did.

    So proud of you today. I draw strength from you.

    • I’m so sorry for this late answer, Katie. I did reply from my iPhone through the WordPress app and realize that my reply to your kind message didn’t go through. Of all people, I know that you understand how I felt. But I’m resilient per nature so I know that I will move over. It hurts, definitely it does, but it would be stupid to mop around forever. Thank you, Katie. And again, sorry for this late reply to a very nice comment.

  4. It has been a very long time since I tried to have something published. Long enough in fact for me to have realized how silly it was to think that those stories were good enough to be published. Still, I remember that feeling. You write so very well that I can only imagine that rejection is even harder to take. You know that your stories are more than good enough (and I’d vouch for you in a heartbeat). You are right of course, “back to work” is the only way around that obstacle. I hope you are having a better day today. BTW, I love looking at fog.

    • Submitting and rejection are part of a writer’s life, so we’ve got to deal with that. But you’re right about the feelings associated with a NO. Thank you so much for your kind support and trust.
      Also, I like fog too. Usually. But when we are sad fog adds to the feeling. See you on your blog.

  5. @”Stop whining. It’s another day. Don’t waste it. Back to work.” – exactement, tu as très bien résumé ton excellent post… bonne continuation et en avant la musique! 🙂 friendly and sunny hugs from Toulouse – avé l’assent, of course! 🙂

  6. Rejection is rough, but you seem to understand how it works. Maybe that’s one of the gifts we get from surviving. We do learn to cope. And as you point out, this is one rejection amidst many acceptances. And I love your writing 🙂

  7. You are so right. Rejection hurts. I can’t even count how many times I’ve received rejection slips and emails from publishers and magazines. I suppose, though, in a way, that makes the acceptances that much sweeter. This post is one that all writers who have ever tried to publish their work can relate to. Thanks for sharing this, and congratulations on getting right back on the literary horse.:) That is what we writers must do, after all–keep working, writing, dreaming, and sharing. Beautiful post!

  8. Terrific post. Getting knocked down happens to everyone more than once. It is the getting up, dusting yourself off and getting back to work that matters. Well done and I look forward to reading of your next success. Best wishes, BTG

  9. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share this. It makes me feel so much less alone! “Stop whining. It’s another day. Don’t waste it. Back to work”–is exactly what I needed to hear. Every rejection is like a knife through the heart. But back to work I go!

  10. Ahh, dear Evelyne. Your beautifully crafted post reminds me of just how I felt when I received my email a couple of weeks ago informing me that none of my poems had been selected for the competition I had entered. As you know I shared my thoughts, as well as my writing fears and you so kindly commented and since I wrote that post I’ve felt renewed again in my writing. I realised I hadn’t let the hurt, rejection and yes anger go about the poems but once I wrote it out on my blog, those feelings left me at last. I was able to get back to work as you are doing now. But still…I will say I am so very sorry because you are an excellent writer as so many here testify and all I can think is that they don’t know what they are missing! I’m so glad that the fog lifted for you and gave rise to a beautiful, clear day so that you were able to get back to your writing. I’m learning that this is the only way to beat the power of rejection of our work, a piece of our souls laid bear on paper for all to read. I’m sending you big hugs, hope you feel them… 🙂

    • Thank you, Sherri, for another kind and supportive visit. Anyone who has ever been rejected after a manuscript submission can relate to the feelings. But rejection offers another lesson and for that I’m happy that I took a chance when I submitted. We always learn from that, See you soon.

  11. You are right. Rejection is a universal feeling, and it does stink, but you are strong, as is your writing. You brought yourself out of your funk and found/used the surrounding beauty to lift yourself up enough to perceive reality a little more brightly. Celebrate that, and your courage in trying.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

  12. Reblogged this on Write Through It and commented:
    Some timely advice from one of the best writer-bloggers I’ve come across.

  13. Evelyne, i’m sorry for this late reply. It gave me the lovely “warm fuzzies” to know my tiny action in re-blogging brightened your day. Thank you for letting me know.
    Like many here, i know how disheartening, even devastating the rejection can be. But just look at all these beautiful comments right here. You are loved, embraced, enjoyed, and accepted by masses of people who are not publishers — People those publishers would hope to attract — and you’ve already brought us to you.
    Huge hugs!

    • Thank you so much, Teagan. It’s a great thing that life often brings good news to help forget the bad ones. Your email was so nice after the manuscript rejection. Your words of support and encouragement go a long way. I’m back to work, sustained by the really cool comments I received. Thank you for being part of this community and for triggering my desire to move on beyond disappointment.

  14. Well done, Evelyne, all part of what shapes us. 🙂

  15. claireannette1 says:

    Rejection stinks! I know that I have a hard time making submissions because so much work goes into the writing. I often question my motives for writing and wonder if I should be spending my time doing something else. But, writing is part of who I am. I am filled with stories that just seem to want to be told.
    I appreciate your perspective and encouragement.

  16. claireannette1 says:

    Oh, and since I spend so much time in wine country, I’ll have a glass of wine instead of whining.
    Cheers!

  17. Love the photos, Evelyne! I’ve been getting my share of rejections recently. On the bright side, though, it’s because I’ve been sending more stuff out there. Hoping that my work with resonate with someone soon!

  18. So beautifully written – I know this feeling so well! Perfect timing for me in fact, last night’s Powder Keg got the lowest viewing figures so far, which could be for a billion reasons and they might still raise, but I woke up feeling rejected by the internet 😉

    • Oh, I’m sorry to read this, Claire. I know how hard you’ve worked. It’s still early, though. I followed your journey through your blog but haven’t online. Could be the case for others. Thank you for your comment that goes straight through my writer’s heart. Next time will be better. I know it and you have to believe it for you. Cheers.

      • Oh I’m just being a drama queen – I mostly feel for the actors as they did a great job and it’s frustrating that so few people have watched it! Such is life though, just made reading your post particularly timely for me!!

  19. Je pense avoir à peu près tout compris…C’est un très bel article que tu écris là, et je comprends ce que tu ressens, enfin, je crois. Tu vois de belles choses depuis ta maison, et je suppose que ça t’aide dans ces moments…Je t’embrasse !

    • Recevoir un e-mail qui annonce le titre des trois nouvelles retenues mais pas la tienne est toujours dur. Dans ce cas je voulais tester les eaux et me remettre à écrire dans notre belle langue natale! Mais je ne pense plus que ce soit si négatif. Je vais m’y remettre et compiler une vingtaine d’histoires courtes pour un recueil que je pourrai de nouveau essayer de publier. Merci de me lire en anglais et merci aussi pour tes mots de récomfort. Comme on dit ici: Hugs and cheers!

  20. Beautiful photos Evelyne, that calm beauty must have given you a little help to face the day re-motivated. Of course I know those feelings, but I also know the space that then opens up for other things to happen. And don’t forget the achievement of being a writer who puts yourself out there – rejection only happens because you tried 🙂

    • Thank you, Andrea. I knew you would know what I was talking about. You wrote beautifully about the topic of rejection and bouncing back. I appreciate your support and encouragement. As always.

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