Rejection is a double-edged sword. It can either make us feel dejected and want to give up or it can bring out the best in us as we work to get better. It can also do both. That was the case for me. Over the weekend I submitted a story to elephantjournal.com. It's an indie media source, and I thoroughly enjoy reading the various articles and opinions.
I've been gearing up for awhile to submit a piece, and I finally did it. The good news is that I heard back from them in only two days. The bad news is that my first effort was rejected with suggestions for rewriting the piece. My first reaction was dejection and a little bit of indignant anger. I thought to myself, "How dare they not take my piece. They don't even pay for pieces for heaven's sake." Then I went into, "Man, I must really suck as a writer. I'm not worthy of writing for publication."
After my initial reactions, I took a step back and reflected upon their suggestions. I went back to the website and read more material. Even though I thought I had a handle on the type of writing they typically accept, I really didn't. So, I've attacked the rewrite and am pleased with what I've done so far to meet their criteria. I'm not completely done with it, but I like the directions it is headed. Even if they don't accept this second attempt, it won't keep me from submitting other pieces of writing to them or other media sources.
Really, rejection is a good thing. It teaches us a lesson, and we either grow from it or stagnate. My initial ego-blown reaction was one of stagnation and a kind of self-loathing. When I got through the emotional aspect, I told myself, "If you're going to be a writer and seek publication, you're going to get rejected." It's a part of life and that's when the lessons emerged.
And that's not just about this lesson but life in general. In order to grow as a person, I have to analyze, reflect, and resolve to get better. My skin has to get tougher and I have to be able to take constructive criticism. Otherwise, I'm not going to get any better in whatever I'm choosing to do at the time. Rejection, therefore, is good!
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.