Recently I saw a cartoon in which a man is curled up on the the floor, a letter next to him, presumably a rejection letter. He's crying out, "I'm no writer. I've wasted my life."
I doctored the text to this version:
(Apologies to the original artist, I wasn't able to find out who it was)
Originally my intention was to highlight that maybe we writers and artists need to grow a thicker skin because an accountant wouldn't react this way. But thinking about it some more I realized probably there are accountants who feel strongly about what they do and would take it personally if something they did found no favor.
Often we are advised, "Don't take it personally" when our work is rejected.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH A HOOKER
A producer friend put this into perspective rather colourfully. Talking about the fact that when you write for TV or film you don't have control over the final script, he said getting too attached to what you've written is like falling in love with a hooker. On the other hand, he said, if you don't fall in love with it at least a little you'll be a hack writing lifeless material.
Finding that balance is one of the toughest challenges for writers, artists, actors--and possibly for a few accountants as well.
I wish I could say I've found the perfect solution, but I haven't. The strategy that does help a bit is to let yourself feel the hurt of rejection for a little while, then ask yourself whether there's anything to be learned from it (often there isn't), and move on.
If you experience the pain of rejection with an intensity that threatens to send you curling up on the floor it can be useful to imagine yourself moving forward in time. In three months will this still be a big thing? Six months? A year? Probably not. Remembering other rejections that felt horrible but that you survived also is helpful.
A LETTER REJECTING REJECTION
You can also lighten your mood by writing a letter to the people who rejected you: "Dear Big Deal Publishers, Unfortunately your rejection of my manuscript does not meet my present needs. This is not a negative reflection on your rejection; I reject rejection for many reasons, including the possibility that I've had similar rejections recently. I wish you good luck placing your rejection elsewhere. Sincerely, A. Author."
Probably best not to mail it.
(Support in a book? You'll find it in Your Writing Coach, published by Nicholas Brealey and available from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller--why not order it via your local independent book shop?)