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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.