Some of you authors have been writing and submitting long enough that not winning is likely only a blip in your consciousness. Others of you are brand new to this and you're likely having an entire range of feelings.
I hope none of you are crying but I have to admit that even as long as I've been writing and submitting (over 30 years), I still cry when I don't "win"—and then I eat lots of chocolate. But after I've recovered from the chocolate coma, I look at my submission and the comments made about it and I get back to work polishing that thing until it shines. Then I submit it again.
It's like getting bucked off a horse or crashing on your bike. It hurts but you have to get right back up there and go for it.
Here's what an emotionally healthy writer does when they're rejected:
- First, they are so busy writing other projects that they don't have time to wallow (or at least, not much time).
- After the initial sting, they think about their critique (if they're lucky enough to have one) (which all of you will). Are the points legitimate? Are they helpful?
- They re-write the piece using the suggestions that feel right.
- They study the winners and evaluate what is different between their writing and the writing of the winners. They find specific areas they can improve upon and consciously work on those areas.
- They start a new story for a new contest.
If you'd like to share other coping techniques or things that help you deal with rejection, now's the time to do it. Commiseration starts now.