How to Handle Rejections: A Lesson from My Son

My son, Angus, finally did it: he broke his arm.

Before you ask how this connects to writing, you’ll want to know how he did it.  Get ready: he was on the trampoline.  I know, I know; I’ve had to field a few parents who’ve said, “Oh, those things are so dangerous!” or “I would never let my kids play on those–oh, wait…I thought Angus was at a friend’s house…”

Awkward.

The thing is, if we didn’t have a trampoline, Angus would have broken his arm falling out of a tree, or skateboarding, or BMXing.  He is just that kid.  Last week, I found him standing on the back of the couch, asking, “Mom, is it okay if I do a backflip off this?”

No.  No, it is not.

Well, he handled this injury great–partly because of the wonderful folks at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital.  Angus broke his arm at 10:15 a.m. and, thanks to things like a hospital transfer due to a complication (of course, he would dislocate and fracture his elbow), he did not make it home until after 7 p.m., yet he said things like, “I love it here!” and “This place is boss!”

In my life as a writer–no, wait, in my life, period–I want to be more like my son, who continues to see the good in a situation long after the rest of us have retreated.  This week, I had one acceptance (yay) and three rejections (boo).  I am learning to say, “This is boss!” because getting rejections means I’m still in the game.

My desire, of course, is to have a decent income from writing by, say, autumn 2016.  I only know one sure-fire way to fail: to let those rejections prevent me from writing and submitting my work.

Instead, I’ll be like Angus, who continues to say, “How about this? Can I try this? What about this?” and views his failures as chances to learn how to do it better.  I’ll be a risk-taker, like him.

Only, I’ll break less bones.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “How to Handle Rejections: A Lesson from My Son

  1. You are amazing you always find the good and offer such freedom to Angus. So glad you are his Mom. You understand him so well. Allow that freedom for yourself.

    Like

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