The Wisdom to Know the Difference: On Rejection, Violence, and Resilience

Check this out — self defense strategies to help us deal with different kinds of rejections, by choosing our response! “It’s up to us as writers to figure out when our writing is rejected because it’s unsettling and when it’s rejected because it’s not up to par. We need to know when to change and when to keep plugging on with submitting until our work finds a home. We need the wisdom to know the difference. Unlike in self-defense, our safety doesn’t depend on this wisdom. But our happiness and our resilience as writers might.”

Women Who Submit

by Jay O’shea

Recently, I was rejected for a fellowship for which I was asked to apply. This isn’t the first time I’ve been invited to put myself forward for an honor of some kind – an award, a job, a publication opportunity – only to receive a rejection. I am aware of this and, yet, every time I receive one of those requests-to-apply emails, the cogs of the fantasy-generating apparatus in my mind start to turn. I reflect on the benefits of the award, publication, or job and how satisfied I would be on receiving it. Each of those rejections sting even as I tell myself that rejection is part of the writing game and that rejection is, as we’ve all heard so many times, a sign that we’re making our best efforts to add our voices to the conversations we long to be part of.

Like many writers…

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