Dealing with Rejection

It finally happened. I can make up all sorts of plausible excuses for why it happened. I can imagine all sorts of circumstances that have nothing to do with me.

None of that changes the bold faced truth. At my last author appearance, no one showed up. Nobody. My husband and I sat in an empty room for fifteen minutes, switching our lines of site between the clock and the front door. After twenty, I started to cry. We packed up and left.

I suppose breaking down and bawling like a big baby was unprofessional of me, but it’s cheaper than getting hammered and being hung over the next morning.

Regardless, every artist must deal with rejection because it’s inevitable. It’s also necessary. I certainly don’t like that it’s necessary. I hate criticism. I take my work very personally. My skin is translucently thin (literally and figuratively, but let’s stay on topic). Rejection is necessary because you can’t learn if you don’t fail.

Life has kicked me in the teeth on several occasions. When it does I cry. I grieve. I have my little pity party. I swear and curse people’s names. I lament the ignorance of the rest of the world to my creative genius (“stupid bastards”). The one thing I cannot allow, however, is debilitation.

It is very tempting to take rejection as some sort of cosmic sign that I am suppose to stop what I’m doing before I get rejected again. There are so many other, easier things that I could do with my life. I wouldn’t have to expose myself to criticism, or worse, indifference.

That’s not who I am. I’m the creative weirdo with alternative universes running through my head at any given moment. I’m the smut peddler who has the audacity to write a mystery series in which my characters swear and get to have sex. I’m the naive idealist that believes deep down in my soul that my self expression is meant to be shared with the world.

I’m a writer. Deal with it.

One Response to “Dealing with Rejection”

  • Brenda Boe:

    You’re still a damn good writer, even when describing the rejection of your writing! But to be fair, there was probably a Lutheran potluck somewhere in the area of your event, and somebody’s green bean casserole won the local’s attention.