One of the pitfalls of being a writer is having to deal with rejection. I can't think of any other profession where it's possible to get slammed down on a regular basis. Even actors don't get those dreaded letters in their email or mailbox.
And talk about mood swings! Euphoria when the email arrives--you're sure she's asking for more material, or she wants to know a good time to call because she loves your book. You click and start reading. Bam! Another rejection. You go looking for chocolate or alcohol--or both.
Even bestselling authors have had their share of rejection. J.K. Rowling and Stephen King were rejected numerous times before their first books found a home. Gone With the Wind was rejected 38 times. Jonathan Livingston Seagull was rejected a whopping 140 times. The list goes on and on. (Google "writer rejections" sometime. You wouldn't believe the number of sites that come up.)
Believe me, I've had my share of rejections. Over the years they've ranged from the typical form rejection to the send-me-your-next-book kind. Some have been helpful and gave me specific advice on what needed to be fixed. Some were just a "No" scribbled across the top of my query letter. Others were downright blunt ("I thought it would be better.").
There's no doubt that rejections hurt. Even the "good" ones. But no matter what kind of rejection you receive, learn not to take it personally. I know our manuscripts sometimes feel like our babies. We've poured our hearts and souls into them for months, and in many cases, years. Try and remember that what we've written is only a product. Some will like it--others not so much. Some might even hate it. Remember that the agent or editor is rejecting the product, not you. It's not always easy, but it's part of the process.
I'm not sure where the saying came from, but remember--what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Polish up that next query and send it off.
Does anyone have any rejections stories to tell? What is the worst rejection you've received? The best?