After waiting ten months for a response, today I finally received a response: a rejection from a literary magazine that I’d sent an excerpt from Perceval. Disappointment. And to think I’d just read a quote from Michael Cunningham (The Hours) in the August 2008 issue of The Writer earlier today: “A novelist is more than anything else someone who refuses to stop writing and who can stand disappointment.”
I don’t think it’s a matter of being able to stand disappointment as it is knowing oneself and how to deal with it. I will allow myself a little time to feel the disappointment, maybe half an hour. Then I put the rejection letter away (usually a form letter, by the way) and begin working on where I’ll submit the story next. Wallowing in the disappointment, or pity, or revenge fantasies serve no productive purpose and definitely will not lead to publication anymore than writing a letter to the editor who sent the rejection.
The only remedy for rejection is to get back to work, whether it’s writing or marketing….