Writer | Marketer | Creative

My Blog

A lively take on creativity, business, and life.

How Should You Handle Rejection?


From the time we're born, every person in every walk of life has to deal with rejection.

Asking Mom and Dad for toys, trying to get that one girl to go out with you, interviewing for jobs - you know the drill. There's typically a giant wall of "Nope" standing between us and our goals, hurling bricks of discouragement at us.

Unless you've got connections everywhere, there's no way around this. If you're a creative, you're even more prone to rejection! You just have to get really good at handling it. How?

You and I and all the other people we know each handle rejection a little differently. You might cry, she might drink a bottle of wine, I might punch a hole in a wall, some might do all three. There is, however, one concept that remains constant in all rejection.

Rejection hurts because we're close to the situation. We're heavily invested, usually emotionally at the very least. It hurts when a potential date says "beat it," because you'd fallen for them. It hurts when you don't get that job, because you could already picture yourself in that position with that paycheck and that commute.

You're close. If being close is the problem, creating space is the solution.

When you get rejected by one company, you won't feel as much pain if you've already applied to 15 others. If your manuscript gets rejected by one agent, you won't feel as bad if you've sent the same manuscript to a dozen others. If one project doesn't work out, it's okay because you've got five others you're working on.

Some people look at this as a need for distractions. Others look at is as a numbers game. Both are right.

Rejection hurts when you've got all your stock in one thing. The higher percentage of you and/or your work that gets rejected, the worse you'll feel.

So the smaller percentage of your total work that one piece or interview or date or whatever takes up, the less attached you'll be to that one thing, and the less you'll care when someone says "no."

Particularly as a creative, you'll often have five, ten, maybe even twenty projects floating around. You might even forget about some of them! This is ideal.

The more work you can do and put out there, the less it will hurt when you get rejected. You've got so much going on, what does one person or publisher or company matter?