The Reality of Rejection

Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog!

It’s been hectic since I last wrote on here, what with the Thanksgiving festivities here in the US as well as work and preparing for the upcoming holiday celebrations. In addition, I’m applying for my Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, and while it’s fulfilling and I’m excited for it, the application process is ripping open a wound I need to work on.

With my poetry, I was lucky to have been accepted and that my work was well-received. With my MFA, however, the applications require a portfolio and I’m now questioning everything that I’ve ever written in my entire life. Unlike my experience with undergrad applications, when acceptance can depend on test scores, community service, and other more concrete factors, the portfolio is what determines acceptance, and that can be quite subjective.

I often hear the stories of Stephen King’s rejection nail (#2 in this article) as well as the stories from other writers on my Twitter about the roller coaster ride also known as the querying process, so I understand that rejection is something that writers will have to deal with at some point in their careers, if not often. At the same time, knowing that rejection is going to happen at some point has the same level of dread I feel when I anticipate the jab of a needle at the doctor’s office.

Writing means a lot to me. Sometimes I consider myself a writer before I even consider myself a person. So, if I put that much of my time, effort, heart, and soul into my work and it costs me an acceptance into an MFA program, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong to do so, I’m going to take it personally to some degree.

In some instances in the self-help community, this advice to be persistent in spite of hardships can be well-intentioned but nonetheless a bit invalidating. We as writers put our soul into our work, so to have something so personal cast aside so impersonally is likely going to hurt, and it’s okay to feel hurt about it. What we have to do—and what I have to practice on—is not let that make us close up into our proverbial shells and stop trying.

Have you had to deal with rejection? How do you handle it? Let me know in the comments section below!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

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