Rejection, we all face it as authors. All the great authors have been there. As a writer there is a fundamental awareness that you will have to take some punches to join the greats. The predominate wisdom is to take this rejection with grace, but is this always the best road? I don’t think so. In 2016 I had interesting experiences with rejection. It was challenging, but I learned important lessons.
A few months back I had a piece that was rejected unexpectedly. The communication wasn’t clear, and the deal that fell through really late. It wasn’t the rejection that hurt, it was the manner in which it handled. They had approached me about writing the piece, and had always given the impression that it was going to be published. They had said the piece was good, and we were going to do some more editing. Our correspondence had been laid back and friendly, even personal at times. Without warning, it changed, The friendly emails ceased and was replaced by formal cold ones. I was upset that the tone of everything had abruptly changed, and I hadn’t really been given a reason why.
Disappointed, I did my best to make the best of the situation. For some time I continued to follow them on social media, and the blog. But to tell you the truth, it was difficult. Every post reminded me of the opportunity I had missed out on. The jumbled mess of anger and resentment and confusion would always emerge. The predominate advice on rejection tells you to take it quietly. Don’t burn bridges, and do all you can to keep that channel open. Rejection is part of this business, but it should be handled in a fair way. I believe in respect, but I also believe that should be reciprocated. There are some times when it is better to walk away.
Slowly I began to distance myself from them, unfollowing blogs and twitter accounts. Distancing myself from them helped me move forward. I was able to focus on new opportunities, not the one I had lost. Now I am focused on my photography and my novel, and am so much happier. Network, but don’t be afraid to sever connections. Some people are here to enhance our time here, others serve as lesson. At this point all I can do is take my lessons and move on.