Rejection is a Bastard and We Cannot Let it Win

Today there is a collective sigh of disappointment rippling through a writing group I am a part of.

Once upon a time, what feels like long, long ago, there was an opportunity that arose to be selected as one of several writers working for a high profile copywriting brand, the deity of copy if you will.

The applicants scurried and hurried to get their submissions in before the deadline. They dreamt of the regular source of writing assignments and reliable source of income. They yipped and squealed with enthusiasm and anticipation as the selection process began. And became ever more jittery and nervous and the selection process continued… and continued… and continued. It was torture to just watch them wait. 

As each week passed, the applicants gathered over bonfire Facebook posts to eek and shriek and squeak about their anxious expectation of news on their selection or lack thereof. 

And finally, FINALLY… the day came when the rejection letters started rolling in.

Subdued comments percolated within the group, sharing their bitter pills of defeat. “I’m glad it’s over,” some annouced. “At least we’re in good company,” others proclaimed. They all wanted evidence of how the selected applicants actually secured their spot. They wanted to see just what kind of talent managed to win the few coveted positions.

It wrecks my little heart to see so many powerful, damn good copywriters feeling so disheartened about their work – desperate to see what they’re up against in this big ole ugly, competitive world of words. The writer’s soul that resides deep within my chest aches for these writers who were faced with rejection today.

Rejection is a bastard. It creeps through our minds like a destructive virus seeking the last bit of brazen confidence we have. And as creative professionals, we feel the effects of rejection deep into our bones. Creative work is more than just the use of imagination or artistry. It is more than craftsmanship. It involves giving a piece of ourselves away with each piece of art we conjure. And when a piece of our very vulnerable, very real, very human self is attached to our art… rejection is all the more tragic.

But we can’t let the tragedy stop us. We are creators. We use the wonders of this world around us to communicate concepts in a way that pushes even the most trite and mundane notions into a realm of beauty. We are writers.

And rejection cannot win.

So for those of you creatives that are struggling today, or any day, with the battle of your craft and rejection…

Take this day as fuel for your fire.

Take this day as evidence that it is time to put your words to work for your own brands.

Take this day to start building your own creative empire.

Be it out of car tires and chicken wire.

At first.

Your time will come.

Do not let rejection cause you to question your talent, worthiness, or skill.

Your story is dying to be told.

In your own voice.

On your own terms.

Your story wants to be written.

Of your own words.

From your own perspective.

Take this day to revisit the foundation of why you do the work you do.

Take this day to tell rejection it can torment someone else.

Take this day to be the best damn writer you can be.

Take this day to tell your story. 

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