Last night, by which I mean the earliest hours of this morning, I was personally informed that my efforts to become a member of a certain society had failed. (By personally, I do mean in person. The Vice President and the Treasurer, whom I happen to know outside of the organization, came to tell me. I think they like to tell people personally to avoid the form rejection feel. Guess what, the personalized rejection does feel better than the form rejections.)
After my first wonderings, which was what they would have done if the person they were trying to reach were asleep -- not unlikely considering the hour, my next thoughts were that this didn't sting as much as older rejections used to. And I'm pretty sure that it's writing that's done it.
Before I started writing, I had issues with rejection. I covered, but I really didn't like it (who does, right?) and I used to do things that required auditions a lot, such as theater or choir (and I can't sing). Sometimes, just to prove I could take it, I'd set myself up for rejection instead of heeding self-preservational instinct. So people thought I didn't mind, but I did.
Then, I wrote a book. And I started querying it. Except it wasn't that good. And neither was the query. So rejection promptly followed.
But, after a while, it stopped stinging so much. I learned that it wasn't personal, that there are lots of factors going into every decision like that, and all I could do what put my best foot forward and see how it goes.
So, that's what I've been doing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But, when it doesn't, it hurts a hell of a lot less.
I'm glad I started writing.