Last fall I submitted two stories to two different short story contests. I waited hopefully for the news of my fate. Eventually, both were rejected.
I’d be lying if I claimed it didn’t sting. It’s one of my worst shortcomings, fear of rejection. But one arrived with a hand-written note of encouragement to submit again. That seemed pretty special.
The odds are tough. The universe is big and full of competition. But so what? We are called by Something to write, and our work is not finished when we put down our pens.
So here’s some cheerleading from the Best of the Best on how to handle rejection:
1. “I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” — Sylvester Stallone
2. “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling
3. “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan
4. “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger
5. “Rejection is the greatest aphrodisiac.” — Madonna
6. “By the time I was fourteen, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” — Stephen King
7. “Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” — Oprah
Thanks to Upworthy for these