Surviving Rejection Week! -- How Do You Cope?

Surviving Rejection Tip #4: Gorging on ice cream, drinking lots of whiskey, throwing away your laptop--choose your poison to cope with disappointment!

If you've followed my blog this past week, you have probably noticed the numerous rejections I've received in my life. Rejections on essays, rejections on queries, rejections on manuscripts. My goodness, how much disappointment can one girl take?!

When I get dejected and depressed over a particularly heartbreaking rejection (I shake my fists at you, Washington Post!), I go through a little ritual to help me feel better. It involves three basic steps:

1. Cry

As you've noticed on my blog, I cry A LOT when I get rejected. It doesn't take very much to get my tear ducts flowing--my eyes seem to well up automatically whenever I read the words, "Thank you for sending me your manuscript, but...." Yeah, I don't have very thick skin.

But crying always helps me to feel better. After a couple minutes of sniffling into my blanket, I can pick myself up and move on with my day. I don't know what it is, but crying is like an emotional band-aid for me.

2. Eat

Yep, I'm one of those girls who wolfs down a half-gallon of brownie ice cream whenever I get depressed. (No bowls, please. I'll just eat out of the container, thank you very much.) Obviously, this isn't the healthiest way to cope with rejection, but it sure does taste good.

In high school, I tried out four times for a solo part in my school's rock 'n roll show. But each year, I was always delegated to the chorus or a back-up role. When I didn't get a solo during my senior year--my very last chance--I collapsed onto my bed and shoveled nine Ferrero Rochers down my throat. Sure, I might have gained a couple pounds, but those chocolates made me forget about my rejection for about thirty minutes!

Now, I do NOT cry and eat at the same time. I try to avoid looking like this at all costs:

3. Slap myself in the face and get back on the horse.

Sometimes I let myself take a break from querying after a few rejections. Most of the time, however, I force myself to put myself back out there. For me, it's easier to forget about my disappointment if I replace it with the excitement of sending out more queries. Soon, my sadness ebbs away as I look forward to hearing back from another batch of agents or editors. And if they happen to reject me, I repeat the process all over again!

So how about you? How do you deal with rejection? Do you have any rituals?