Rejections that Truly Matter

Having witnessed and experienced a variety of rejections since the beginning of 2011, I am reminded how important it is to distinguish between the rejections that matter and those which bear little significance in comparison. These past few months, I have spent hours at a hospital in North Carolina, caring for my parents, while witnessing people deal with life-and-death rejections: the rejections that matter. When I sit for long hours, waiting for doctors, I quickly find myself talking to others around me, whose courage is deeply inspiring. I cannot imagine losing a young child, or being unable to get needed medicine, or not being allowed to see my grandchildren. Yet the people I spoke with have dealt with these situations, all due to rejections: rejections by insurance companies, transplant rejections, and rejections by family members. So when I hear of writers complaining about getting a rejection, it makes me, well, cringe.

To be a writer, you must experience rejection, it is part of the business, and while it may sting, it is not a matter of life-or-death. It is possibly a matter of not being the right fit.  

Whatever the reason for the rejection, move forward and appreciate the fact that you got a response from an editor or agent. Someone took the time to read your work. You are no longer waiting and wondering, checking your mailbox or e-mail. You can rework the piece, send it elsewhere, or stick it in a drawer. You are not dying, or longing to see a grandchild you have never met, or in need of medicine to survive.

Be thankful for that.

As for myself, this past week, I have enjoyed the beautiful sights in North Caroline: the painted murals in the doctor’s office, the blooming trees and flowers, yet to appear where I live in Connecticut. These small joys offset the struggles I face here, and for this, I am grateful.

For  Free Fall Friday, here is the link for this week:

4 thoughts on “Rejections that Truly Matter

  1. I read many blogs throughout my day, and I just wanted to thank you for sharing something so important.

    Your perspective was so poignant that it brought me to tears. I too, have been experiencing similar jolts of enlightenment, while dealing with my sisters illness.

    There are so many lessons to be learned in life.

    I find that it’s like mining for gold. You have to sift through a lot of mud to discover those precious nuggets…

    It takes a fair amount of patience and persistence, but I’m always grateful when I see a sparkle amid the mess.

    Your post was my sparkle today! Thank you!

    1. Dear Eileen,
      Thank you for making my day! I love your description of searching through the mud. Life is full of challenges, but also rich with beauty. Appreciating the small nuggets of gold can make all the difference.
      I will keep your sister in my thoughts.
      Hugs, Betsy

  2. Betsy, you must have had a hard few weeks…but it is so like you to remember the good and beautiful things amidst difficulty.
    I don’t think any kind of rejection feels very good, but it’s a lot easier to face the little rejections with a hug from my girls. I can’t imagine losing them…or so many other precious things in my life. Thank you for the perspective.
    You and your family are in our prayers.

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