Ever mused about how a movie didn't end the way you wanted? Have you complained about a restaurant and convinced your friends not to dine there? Did you ever read an employer's email or a friend's poem and feel the need to critique its structure?
Chances are that you've done your share of rejecting the work of others. One of the most difficult parts of the writing process is dealing with rejection. When it comes to creativity, every work of art will be rejected at some point. Even if the creator is satisfied with his product, the audience may not receive it in the same warm way. The article you just submitted might be ignored, your dissertation draft may come back to you with more revisions than praise, your friend could miss every joke in your comedic short story, and all ten publishers where you sent your manuscript may respond: "not quite." No matter the details, everyone's work is one day met with rejection.
Although it hurts and may bruise your artistic ego, rejection doesn't have to discourage you.
The way you respond to the inevitable rejection of your work is the key. If you truly believe in your mission and have a passion for your work, don't give up! Instead, try harder and regain your focus. With the pain of rejection comes toughened skin, determination to excel, and time to develop your product and hone your skill. Jessica Olien writes, "Truly creative ideas take a very long time to be accepted. The better the idea, the longer it might take." Think back to the days of writing essays for school. Did those long nights of cramming words together till the hour before class result in your most prized essays? Not likely. Instead, the assignments you were most proud of were developed over time, with time specifically allotted for reflection and input and-you guessed it-rejection. It may have come from your peers or employers, or as a result of self-examination. An artist is his own number one critic. The way you accept or reject your own work is one of the best gauges of its completion.
While rejection is hard, especially for writers and other creatives, it is effective in taking your work to the next level. David Burkis writes, "Being rejected is often a statement that you (or your ideas) are too far from the current mainstream to be considered safe or comfortable. This could actually be a good thing. You're ahead of your time. While the group or client may not believe they need you right away, the world probably does." Don't think of moments of rejection as roadblocks. Think of them as detour signs that take you on the scenic route, resulting in more creativity. If you have the resolve and the gumption, rejection will only strengthen the final product of your perseverance!