So today I did a little breakout presentation entitled, "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going."
I know! Awesome football cliche!
Anyway, I gave a few suggestions (among other things) for handling discouragement/rejection. Here's the Cliff Notes of what I said. Thanks to my writer friends for helping me generate this list.
1. Throw yourself a pity party. For 24 hours. Then get over it and get back to work.
2. Remind yourself that you chose to do this. No one put a gun to your head and forced you to become a writer. Tell yourself you can quit anytime. Oddly, telling yourself that you can quit whenever you want to often has the effect of re-energizing you.
3. Put your disappointment into some larger context. Look at your life as whole and remember that there are good things there--things that are working independently of your writing life.
4. Have a designated cheerleader. Find someone who loves your work unreservedly and go to them for a pep talk now and then.
5. Remind yourself that plenty of great books have been rejected. Also think of the books you love, then take a look at reader reviews on the Great Satan, aka "Amazon." There are plenty of one-star reviews for even the best of books.
6. Take a moment to look back on the positive responses your work has received in the past.
7. Remind yourself that you CAN do this.
8. As soon as something comes back to you, send it out again. And again.