Getting rejected is something none of us enjoy, though some of us learn to get used to.
With submitting your written work, you’re going to get rejected.
Quite possibly a lot.
Understanding what is behind that is hard: the most common feeling is that your work simply isn’t good enough. That you’re not good enough. That you’re a failure.
It might not be good enough, there may be some problems with it that you can’t see, but when you get that ‘thanks, but no thanks letter’, the first thought is usually, ‘I have failed’.
Those rejecting your work seldom take the time to offer explanations: they are always far too busy, and if you want critique, you should get it before you send them stuff.
That’s their logic.
So ask yourself, have you got feedback on your work, is it as good as it can be, are you happy that it’s a good representation of what you can do?
If the answer is yes, if the work is as good as you can make it, and that includes all the usual checks for grammar, structure (and final spell-check!), and it is creatively representative of what you can do, then you have done all you can.
Your work may not be what someone is looking for right now.
Its theme and content might be out of fashion, or out of the scope of the person rejecting it.
They might have other submissions that more closely match what they want, that doesn’t mean yours is worse than anyone’s, just not exactly right for what they want.
They may simply be at their capacity for work they can handle.
There are many reasons you might be rejected.
What you have to do is take as many reasons off the table as possible before you submit your work.
Make sure the person you’re sending your work to wants to see it, is it the sort of thing they handle, do they accept unsolicited submissions, is it in a format they want?
Is there an introductory letter that gives a good summary of your work, are you making it as easy as possible for the person receiving it to know whether they should invest time in it?
Is the work as good as it can be, has it been checked for all the basics, is it a fair representation of the effort you’ve put in creatively?
A rejection of your work is not a rejection of you.
It is not a rejection of the validity of your work.
It’s just a ‘no thank you’ from someone who, for whatever reason, can’t take your work further at this time.
Take a breath. Then… onwards!