Rejection. It sucks. It truly does.
As writers and actors we have a heck of a lot of it, and, at least for me, it stings every time. It's very difficult when the product is something so personal. With acting, you are trying to basically sell yourself, and with writing you are trying to sell something that is a part of you.
Now of course we all cope in our different ways. Some deal with it matter of factly, it's business not personal. Some rage against the machine, telling everyone how much the industry sucks. Some sit quietly and mope.
And while some coping strategies may be better than others, I have always believed that the most important thing is to understand the pain.
This is what I have learned after years of acting and the whole writing thing. We are human beings. We feel sad when things don't work out. We can also feel angry, hurt, confused . . . even scared.
And there is nothing wrong with that. At all.
I feel sometimes we waste so much time beating ourselves up for feeling these feelings, that that in itself keeps us from moving on, past the pain of rejection. We live in a society where we have been told it is weak to cry. We are in businesses where others will note, "But you knew getting into it it would be really hard" and so we are not supposed to feel bad when the predictable happens.
Yeah, grand, whatever. We still feel what we feel. Whatever the feeling may be.
It's important, at least for me, to understand that no matter how I feel right now in the rejection state, I know I will not give up. This is a great thought to have because it then doesn't matter that you feel lousy now, or that you are full of self pity, because in the end you know that you aren't about to give up or anything. You're just being indulgent.
And that to me at least is the key. Instead of pretending the emotions don't exist, or being ashamed of them, I say indulge them. Not for a long time mind you, but take a day to just feel lousy. Vent to a caring friend. Cry into your pillow. Do whatever you need to do to purge the unhelpful feelings. Because then it's out. It's like, pardon the analogy, throwing up. Sometimes we consume something that is toxic to our system and our bodies automatically vomit it back up. And we feel better. Well "vomit" up the toxic emotions, lay them bare.
And then move on.
That is also very important.
DO NOT WALLOW.
There is nothing good that comes from wallowing.
The next day do something really proactive. Send out more queries, write a blog entry, write a novel, learn a monologue. Force yourself to feel that things are still somewhat under your control.
Of course this is only my coping strategy, some people have ones that suit them better. My point though is the solving of the problem comes not with the question of: "How do I stop feeling bad when I get rejected?" But rather: "How do I get past the emotions I inevitably feel when I get rejected?"
It's about acknowledging that you are human and feel things. Icky things. And then learning how to get past and cope with those icky feelings. Not get rid of them. But, in a really weird way, befriend them.
Now, I think it's time for others to share their coping methods! Don't be shy, we can all learn from each other!