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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rebound from Rejection, Resume the Creative Process

This week I received notice that one large project and one smaller one is not going to be published by the presses where they were submitted.

At first, I felt numb. Then I traveled back in time to a familiar place, my childhood. After I turned nine, my parents were both troubled and preoccupied by health issues. Much of what I accomplished at school and in the creative arts was overlooked or minimized. At the time, my only sibling criticized my drawings, compositions, and poetry. She said, “How babyish and silly.” 

Now, when my writing is rejected in the marketplace, my first reaction can be fright and isolation. This time I felt myself slipping back into my old shell of inferiority, lack, and unworthiness. I internalized the decision of the publishers as a personal blow. The little girl inside me screamed and wrestled with conflicting voices in her head. Her true voice said, I know what I'm writing about and it's good! Harsh voices shouted, Stupid. Egotistical. Impostor.

Dear Reader, Writers, and other creative thinkers: What helps you rebound, trust your ability, value yourself, and get back into the ring? This time I used journal writing, praying, meditating, and sharing my vulnerability with others as a path to release sadness and lack of self-confidence. Please share what helps you get out of that "stuck" place. Click on the envelope below this post and leave a comment or put your email into the space next to submit and click the button. Also, share this with others so we can have a lively discussion.

the quote for today follows:
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Eleanor Roosevelt (This is My Story 1937)


  1. Well, Nan, your quote from Eleanor Roosevelt syas it very well. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

    Does rejection cause you to question your skill? Perhaps it should. In one of my earlier blog posts, I stated that rejection can be a good thing, because it forces you to look more closely at your writing and (maybe) the markets you have chosen. Can you make the message clearer, more appealing? Can you reformat the same material into something for other markets? Without knowing what you've written or if it has been through the editorial process, it's hard to say.

    In another post I suggested that this is an opportunity to revise. Revision is the writer's best friend.

    Always remember, the market is unpredictable. Imperfect humans are making choices for imperfect publications for an uncertain publication date.

    Because I enjoy creating, I keep on creating. Sometimes it's enough to know that I have done my very best.


  2. Your questions have drawn me into a wonderful evening of thinking. Thanks for that! I reflected back to childhood and forward. If you want to have lunch sometime, we could go over the details of my reflections!

    So what helps me get into the ring after being rejected? I believe it's called " life school." (At least that's what my sister Sarah always calls it when we discuss these sorts of things. Therefore, I have to give her credit for the term.) Experiences have shown me that support and love from my friends and family are incredible ways to help me rebound and take care of myself. Collaboration with others is a tool I've learned to value through the years to help me think my way out of my messes. Allowing myself to lay around stewing, pondering, and thinking are also a part of it I've learned. Feeling feelings. When I taught school, I tried to help my students realize that when they were in the analysis/thinking phase of solving problems, it was often going to be confusing and frustrating. Often right before the fireworks in your head go off and bring brilliant ideas! Or at least your problem might get solved. Another part of rejecting rejection is to work on not taking it personally. Knowing from past experiences that you've done your best and that this experience will pass, so that you can continue your learning and growing. Then just do it! Tackling the problem will feel a lot better than feeling lousy about it.

    Thanks again for the nice evening.

  3. Thanks Michaele and Marianne for your comments. I appreciate your input. I feel stronger than ever-now that I weathered what felt like an emotional storm.


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