I had a long, lovely email last night from a writer who reminded me of the time I told her that I received seven rejection letters in one week and, while holding the last one, I tripped and fell down the stairs, collapsing into a heap of misery (with a very sore ankle). She writes: the temptation was there to give up, but you didn’t. You went back to the computer and kept writing. I think of this story often, and it inspires me to keep writing.
If you’re feeling fed up with rejection letters and worn out with the quiet disinterest of publisher after publisher, remind yourself that rejection is part of the job. Any writer you admire (and probably some you don’t) will have received their fair share of rejection letters. They will have hoped for something that didn’t come to pass, dreamed of an ending that never happened. Someone smarter than me once said: Fatigue is a symptom of effort. Yep, you’ll feel tired, hopeless, frustrated. And sure, the first few days after a particularly galling rejection aren’t, perhaps, the days you feel like reworking anything. You are, of course, allowed to wallow in misery. A little.
Then it’s time to get over it and get on with it, because from rejection comes the opportunity to rewrite, recreate, rejuvenate. Remind yourself of that when you feel like giving up. Sit back down in your writing space and write. Write more. Write something new. Write something better. Never let something as ordinary as rejection stop you.