I once read of a children’s author (it pains me to admit I can’t remember which) who set the stage for her public speaking engagements with a banner she’d created of all the rejection letters she’d received strung together. At the time she spoke, it could cross the stage in most schools twice. She described it as a concrete expression of perseverance.
Ray Bradbury once said that he’d written over 2000 stories, but only about 350 had been published. At the rate I’m going, I guess I’ll be in great company.
In this digital age, I rarely get paper rejection letters. Most are sent by email. Once I received an email rejection from a company that firmly required a snail-mail submission. Not one of my favorite moments in life. If my self-worth had been based on acceptance by some publisher, I would have been in serious trouble.
This morning, I received yet another rejection letter. At one point, such an event meant crankiness for the rest of the day, or at least until lunchtime. Copious amounts of chocolate would have been injested. Tears would have been shed and girlfriends phoned. Today, I sighed with disappointment. After some minor second-guessing (“Does this mean it needs another rewrite? Should I send it to another publisher, or I should give up on it?”) the rest of the day continued, tantrum-free (Well, I was tantrum-free, don’t ask about my toddler.)
I’m not sure this is a sign of spiritual growth. I might just be jaded.