Lots of people say to me, Hey, Jenny, you’re a freelance writer and comedian, but you’re not that good, so how do you cope with the inevitable rejection you must face on a near daily basis?
Well, generally I try not to learn anything from previous experiences as we all know an open mind and ability to adapt is a sign of weakness. All I can do, is tell you how I try to survive the crushing, emotional cruelty of rejection. Number 4 will blow your mind!!!!!
- Take it personally. Always remember that they are not just rejecting a single piece of work for a variety of reasons that may have nothing to do with the quality of your work. No they are rejecting you as a whole. THEY DON’T LIKE YOU. You are not funny, you are not clever and everyone is faintly embarrassed that you even tried. It’s important to remember this as you go through the rejection process, just in case somebody else’s problems start to seem more important than yours.
- Obsess. Maybe I can illustrate this with an example. The other day I experienced rejection, I forget what it was now, didn’t get something I did published/recorded/ retweeted. Anyway, the same day my friend was sacked from his job which was going to make it difficult for him to pay for his mother’s funeral. With the benefit of hindsight, any reasonable third party would see how our misfortunes were equally as devastating. However the crucial difference on this day was that he was able to rationally process events and, while allowing himself time to express his emotions, he was able to move on and begin planning for the future. I couldn’t do this, therefore I was far worse off than him because not only was I worthless enough to be rejected, I was also rubbish at taking rejection. A double blow. My misfortunes clearly took priority, but rather than spend the night drinking with me, he went home to work on his CV. Some people are just selfish bastards.
- Drink. Some times when you feel helpless, you might as well exacerbate the problem.
- Plot revenge. This may seem petty and trivial, but it’s nowhere near as petty or trivial than…
- Massively resent the success of others. I find it helpful to think that however talentless I may be, I’m shedloads better than that person on Facebook who had a nice thing happen to them today. What the hell have they done to deserve that -other than gestated the foetus for 40 weeks- Fuck-all that’s what.
You may think that comparing yourself to others is a pointless exercise and counter-productive as it can only lead to further self-doubt and negativity. But this is actually crucial to the process of coping with rejection as it is not until you have hit rock bottom, can you look up, think of the future and…