I’m going to be super honest with you guys: I suck at accepting rejections. Most people know me as someone who doesn’t get phased very often. My natural state of emotion is indifference. You’d think that I would be good at taking rejection, but personally speaking, I definitely am not. I might have the outward appearance of aloofness, but I tend to take things pretty personally… even if there’s nothing personal about the rejection.
With staying indoors more often, I have become very introspective, and I thought I’d talk about my take on rejection in a bookish context.
For one, I think it’s important to acknowledge that rejection is never easy. Sure, it can get easier, but I don’t think it’ll ever be easy. Part of the reason why it can be hard is because our expectations and hopes were crushed.
From a bookish perspective, that could mean getting rejected after requesting for an ARC copy of a book you’re really excited for. I can say in the five years I’ve been a book blogger, I have been rejected WAY more times than accepted by publishers whenever I request an ARC. One thing I’ve been working on personally is managing expectations. As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, I tend to take things way too personally. What I have to realize is these publishers are just doing their job and do not hate me. There are many more outside factors that I cannot control that they take into account when they consider my request. Taking the full responsibility that they rejected my request solely because of me is bogus.
Also, rejection isn’t talked about enough on the internet. Much like any other person, I put the best version of myself on the web and social media. I don’t show the bad stuff normally, and it’s easy to assume other people do the same. That being said, it’s unrealistic to compare my successes (and failures) to that of a curated image on the internet. Because people don’t talk about rejection enough, it makes it look like it’s not common. That makes it all the more painful because I feel more like a failure when all I see on the internet are people succeeding. That is why I’ve decided to write this post and show that rejection is common, at least in my life.
[ I feel like I should caveat and say that I am solely speaking for myself in this post. People experience rejection differently, and this is my take on it. ]
I find that mindset is also super important when I face something difficult. I feel a lot better when I approach being rejected as more of a learning experience than a personal attack. Going back to the ARC example, when a publisher denies my request, I think back on what I did and what I could do better next time. This applies to the email I send, my internet presence, what content I post on my blog, the quality of the content, etc. etc. I feel like I gained more from the rejection than I would’ve if I just wallowed in my disappointment and felt like a failure.
That being said, I feel like there is an over-emphasis on having a positive mindset and attitude 100% of the time, which I don’t agree with. No one can be positive every waking hour. It’s not human. It’s okay to grieve a little when you get rejected, as long as you don’t let it consume you. One thing that I do when I feel like I have to have a self-pity party is set a timer for ten minutes and let myself feel bad. After that timer rings, I need to move on. (Of course, the time spend wallowing greatly depends on the size of the rejection. Because we’re talking about rejection in a hobby, I give myself a couple minutes. If we’re talking about something more important like relationships, schools, and job prospects, it might take a bit more time.)
Another thing that I’m working on is embracing rejection. I need to accept that without rejection, there can’t be successes. They’re like yin and yang. Also, fearing rejection can lead to missed opportunities. I would much rather be rejected than question what could’ve happened if I shot my shot. Yes, putting yourself out there makes you vulnerable. Yes, vulnerability is scary. But for me, the unknown is even more terrifying. I know for a fact I’ll regret missing an opportunity more than I would actually being rejected.
That’s why I’ve been worrying less of about my requests being denied and just going for it. Rejection is inevitable, and the outcome and decisions of others are never completely in our control. Acknowledging that my self-worth as a book blogger and as a human does not amount to what others think of me and my successes and failures has been learning curve, but I’m getting there. I am worthy regardless of what I do and whether or not others accept me because I am human. That should be enough. That is enough.
So… that is my take on rejection! I hope you were able to relate in one way or another or gain something from this post. I know this is not like what I usually write on this blog, but it has been something that has frequently been on my mind for the past year or so. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with rejection in the bookish community (if you’re comfortable and willing to share, of course) in the comments!
I hope you guys have a lovely rest of your day, and please stay safe!
Until next time….