Monday, October 15, 2012

Recovery Time

Post by Jenny

My husband and I are fairly good examples of how opposites attract. He is tall, I am short. He is social, I am a writer. (D’oh! Just a little writing humor for your morning.) He is athletic, I am decidedly not. The only sport I attempt to play is tennis, and he could easily beat me with one hand tied behind his back. In fact, I’d probably have to decommission all of his limbs—though not as drastically as Monty Python’s Black Knight—to win more than a game or two.

But, I try. And during one recent attempt, I ran up on a ball and then decided that I needed to run back instead. Even though my momentum was already committed in one direction, I tried to reverse course. The result was a pulled muscle, somewhere in the neighborhood of my gluteus maximus (which I always must pronounce like Richard Harris in Gladiatior). I’m sure that if I were a cartoon character, it would have made a sproing sound, and lightning bolts of pain would have radiated from my backside.

Long story short, it was weeks before I could sit comfortably.

Even though my recovery time for physical injury is longer than it used to be, my recovery time for other things is shorter. Writer’s rejection, for example. I don’t remember the first one I ever got, but I know it affected me for days. So did the second, and the third, and…well, just keep counting for a while.

No writer enjoys rejection. No one opens that email thinking, ooh, I hope they said no. No one likes to not win the contest or have a critique partner tell you, in so many gently chosen words, that what you’ve written is not ready for prime time. Rejection can be depressing, especially in the beginning when it’s flat-out scary to share your work with a stranger. But the quicker you can recover from it and submit again, the closer you are to having someone say yes. 

When rejection comes, as it does for all of us at one time or another, give yourself a little time to feel bad, and then move on. (And it’s okay if you need a couple of guys named Ben and Jerry to help you do it.)

What helps you recover from rejection?


Patricia Stoltey said...

Oh, yeah, ice cream always works for me. Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz is most effective.

Jenny said...

The new Greek frozen yogurt is pretty good, too!

Maggie said...

Not to mention my BFF, Merlot:)

Dean K Miller said...

I've never had to recover from writing rejections. I just see another opportunity opening up for the piece that was sent.

One day after receiving a copy of the journal containing my latest accepted piece, I received two rejections in my email box. So I re-sent the work to another source, perked up the writing on an older piece and sent it on its merry way.

Now, dealing with rejection from a large trout that looks at my fly and then turns away...that's a tougher one for me to handle.

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