One day, not so long ago, I was discussing one of my many writerly rejections with a friend and their comment to me was something along the lines of...
"Wow, you are so good with rejection."
I laughed pretty hard at that one. It's SO NOT TRUE.
But it got me thinking.
I DO handle rejection in my field pretty darn well.
But that isn't always the case in my "real life."
In fact, dealing with life's rejections has been a major struggle for me. I've often reinvented myself to make other people happy and avoid feeling rejected by them. I even let my old neighbors make me cry on a regular basis (for three years) before I got up the courage to call out their behavior and then move.
I can go on. I have have a long list, but I'll spare you. Just know, I feel confident when I tell you that dealing with rejection has NEVER been my thing.
Somewhere along the way, I felt an ironic gravitational pull towards rejection. Which feels so counterintuitive. Rejection getting you down? Want to avoid rejection?
Become a writer.
But maybe that's not what happened. Perhaps I'd become tired of living the way I was. And when my level of discontent reached a breaking point, something had to change. So, I did the opposite of what WASN'T working for me. I gravitated to the very thing that is was my nemesis.
I put myself square in the path of some of my biggest fears BY becoming a writer.
Now don't get me wrong, I still have moments when the rejection is at best daunting, and at it's worst, it's crushing. But I've been able to do some really healthy things to grow in this area. And I think it's been because of the separation of art and craft. In the back of my mind, I believe that my art is different than my craft. My craft is business and my art is personal. Publishing is my work, but my art is my heart and soul--it's ME. And this mindset has allowed me to build up my resistance to rejection.
I don't know why I can more easily accept rejection in this one corner of my life. But, I've thought about it long and often, and I've decided on the most logical explanation I can think of...
it's my super power.
I'm Captain Defies Rejection When It's Craft Related. Captain Select Reject for short?
Do I wish I had a better super power?
I'd even settle for the ability to defy ALL rejection in a single bound.
But that's not in the cards for me.
I'm always going to be worried about my place in the world. But, no matter how much my stomach might twist into knots about navigating life's obstacles, its nice to know I'll always have my writing. Because, no matter how many times you reject my art--I promise--to stand back up again. And bonus plan...
the next time you see me, the writing will be better and my future keynote speech will be even more inspiring. Da-da-da-da!
When it comes to your own writing, be sure to use your cape as your shield to protect your art and your heart. And when you give your craft room to be rejected, sometimes you grow in areas you never expected.