Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tips for Coping with Rejection

“The drama is a great revealer of life.” —George P. Baker

Has a life trauma drama ever left you emotionally drained? If anyone is qualified to write passionate fiction, a trauma momma drama queen could write a New York Times blockbuster in the fantasy or horror category. Their ability to exaggerate or create a nonexistent plot line is beyond rational thinking. Recently, a discussion ended with a surprise twist.

Back Story
An organization proposed a plan that may consume twenty hours of my week for the next nine months. Did I mention—without consulting me or considering my writing commitments or schedule? I honestly expressed my surprise to the person requesting this program: I would appreciate being included in any decision processes affecting my life.

The response? It will only take four, maybe five hours a day—Monday through Saturday. That’s all. No big deal.

Excuse Me!
What kind of person thinks it’s okay to hijack someone’s life without consulting them? I have a right to say, “How can we work together to accomplish everyone’s goals?”

A simple request for consideration turned ugly. The trauma drama ratcheted up on the other end of the phone line. Crying. Manipulation. Accusations. Exaggerations. Name calling. This person “heard” words I never said or even thought. Slam! The phone line went dead.

Ten minutes later, I am still sobbing. Ring. A calm, demanding voice says, “Will you do this or not? Yes or no. That’s all I want to know.” How did this person process all that trauma drama in such a short period?

Again, I attempt to calmly state that to participate in this program, a conversation that includes me needs to take place that respects my commitments.

The conversation ended. My chest felt heavy, painful hives popped out, and I did not sleep. As this person retreated to a spouse’s arms, I felt emotionally desperate. I’m single. My body ached to be held, affirmed, comforted.

I didn’t want to dump my emotional heaviness on anyone. I longed for understanding. I journaled and then decided shopping therapy might relieve the pain.

It didn’t. I just felt lonelier cruising up and down store aisles alongside strangers.

That night an intense dream merged and surged the heart-not-to-heart conversation, my fears, past maltreatment, and the topic of my current book proposal. I reunited with my X who was unfaithful, only to be rejected again. Processing the last couple of days reminded me of the facts of life on the writing road.

Life Interruptus
Life interrupts my writing. Drama enriches it. People try to entrap and distract me in their conflicts. I have enough issues of my own to deal with. So what have I learned?
Guard your writing life.
Stay focused.
When distracted, refocus.
When emotionally trampled, journal.
Fight to pursue your passion.
Keep your commitments.
Pursue reconciliation.

Not Everyone Values Your Heart
Rejection smarts. You will receive Simon Cowell stinger zingers. If you write—
some people will not respect the time you set aside to write.
not every manuscript achieves acceptance.
not everyone values your point of view or writing style.
expect rejection letters, they’re proof—you’re a professional writer!

To Be or Not To Be a Writer
How do I face rejection? Laugh. Cry. Learn. Be fearless. Choose joy. Embrace peace. Keep giving, living, loving, and writing. Temporary rejection or life interruptions cannot hijack a writer’s dreams. It may slow them down. Giving up, quitting or bowing to other's unrealistic demands halts the pursuit. Always remember: publication is forever.

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