I am disappointed in myself. All out of proportion, of course, because, hell, I am only human, and I make mistakes just like everyone else, but…fuck, when they are mistakes caused by my own stupidity and laziness and penchant for procrastination…I really hate myself. I just hate when I do this.
I got a rejection for a piece of erotica I sent in recently. Everyone gets rejections, some more than others, some fewer, for all kinds of reasons, some that have to do with the writing itself, some not. And I’ve learned to cope with rejection, because the more I submit, the more likely I am to get rejections. It has even happened that a piece of writing that was rejected for one publication has been accepted for another, so I know that it really has nothing to do with whether I am a “good” writer or a poor one. Unlike when I first started writing, I know that a rejection is not a rejection of me, and in fact I think that they have made me both a better writer and a stronger person. I have always had deep issues with dealing with rejection, and realizing that rejection (of any form) doesn’t equal “Jade is bad, Jade is stupid, Jade is unlovely, Jade is unwantable, Jade is unloveable” has been an outcome of getting rejected and dealing with them.
So hey! rejection is good for me, right? No pain, no gain, blah blah blah. But it still sucks. And it sucks worse when it’s my own fault. In this instance, I had a really good story, but because I procrastinated, I ended up rushing it so that it wasn’t (what I felt) was my best work, and I didn’t tell the story in the best way I could have.
Of course it could be that it’s just that this piece didn’t fit into the anthology for all kinds of reasons having nothing to do with the strength or weakness of the story or my writing, but because I didn’t feel it was my best work going in, my initial reaction is, “Bad Jade, stupid Jade, bad writer, stupid girl.” And that’s what I have push through/get over. I have to get off the self-pity train and I have to use this rejection to make myself a better writer by acknowledging my own complicity in it (procrastinating.) Maybe the story wouldn’t have been accepted anyway, maybe it really wasn’t as good a story as I thought, or wasn’t compelling as it was to me, but at least if I have put my best effort in then I can accept the rejection with a clean conscious, and know that I did my personal best.