I don't handle rejection very well.
However, when you're executing the craft of writing to the best of your ability, rejection is one key component of that craft.
So over the course of the past five years, I've learned to develop a very thick skin when it comes to someone (usually an editor) rejecting a story of mine. As most other writers have stated time and time again, the rejection is never personal, but purely business. You can be a fantastic person, the salt of the earth, but if your story doesn't resonate with a particular editor, it won't get accepted.
You may be wondering why I'm broaching the subject of rejection today. Well, for one thing, I like sharing any and all kinds of news when it involves my writing, be it something mundane like what kind of progress I'm making, or something more concrete like a story making it past the first round of a cattle call. For another, the writing news that I'm sharing with everyone today is something of a mixed bag.
You see, I got another rejection of my novel late last week.
However, the news wasn't all that bad. While the editor did reject my novel, he did something that I have not previously experienced in my years of writing.
He gave me feedback.
While he thought the story was good, he felt it could use a bit more self-editing, so he made a few suggestions on what I should do to correct what he felt were the weakest parts of the novel. And when he finished, he also left open the possibility of reconsidering my novel should I decide to fix what he suggested needed fixing.
I actually read his e-mail about a half dozen times and got a second opinion from a trusted friend on it as well, just to make sure I was interpreting his rejection correctly.
In a nutshell, when I decided to get serious with my writing two years ago, this was the end result I was shooting for. Not necessarily receiving a rejection, but getting a novel published. The fact that an editor had stated that my novel is about 99% ready is the second best news I've gotten this year.
So in a couple of weeks, I'm going to wander over to the public library with my novel, pen, paper and the e-mail, and spend some serious time doing what he had succinctly stated in his e-mail.