I've been rejected many times in my life. I still remember passing a "yes/no" note to a childhood crush and having it returned with the "no" box scribbled in so black it ruptured a hole in the paper. The same goes for writing. The process alone is difficult and requires hours spent on my own battling myself to put something down honest and, you know, actually good. I send it out, wanting people to love it - or click the link - just as much as I do. It doesn't always go that way, but I keep at it. With time the rejection smarts a little less, and it's easier to bounce back and start a new draft.
Yet, I'm not invincible. The first time I lost out on something I really wanted - I mean really wanted - I shut down. I thought I could taste victory. Smelled it. Dreamt about it at night. But it was just a dream, and when failure's reality finally hit me, I laid in bed all day crying as if I'd experienced a bad break up. A break up with an ex through an e-mail that began "Thank you, but..."
When I wasn't crying, I played back all of the things that went wrong, what I could've done differently. Scorpios are known to be a bit obsessive. We're also perfectionists who are loathe to let people get too close to us. These combined are unfortunate traits to have in writers, people whose profession leans toward insecurity and self-loathing. How do you think we come up with such great material?
Yes, our creative output doesn't come without bruises, and to help myself heal I have to keep a running count of all the things - what I'm good out, what I like about myself - that will never change whatever happens with my writing career. I write them down on index cards and tape them to my closet door. Some of the cards have concrete things like "You have a great work ethic." Others are silly self-affirmations like this:
Card-by-card I try to re-build the courage and overcome the side effects of being a writer. Because if I can't do this for myself, who else will?