I've had many personal rejections in my life - the boy in high school who said I was too chunky to be his girlfriend, the college that said I didn't meet their high level of academic excellence, the arrogant rube job interviewer who went out of his way to make me feel small and stupid for even applying for the position. I've been told I'm too stupid, too fat, too ect...ect....So when I decided to go into writing - I mean REALLY decided to give it a try - I knew I'd be rejected. It simply comes with the job.
Prior to my launching my writing career, I started my own home bakery. I LOVE to bake. Second to writing, it's my favorite activity and if the state laws were more relaxed in my current home place, I'd still have my bakery. But back when I was operating, I'd participate in various craft fairs / trade shows in order to get my name out there as a baker. Specifically, an allergy-friendly baker.
Talk about rejection. Just as I learned (or relearned) when I published my first book, no one really cares when you do someone cool. For example, just like I have family members who still haven't bought a copy of book, I had family members who never once bought any of my bakery items. When I sold at craft fairs, I had people complain that allergy-friendly didn't taste as good as regular, and they refused to even try my treats. I had my cookies called "dry", my cupcakes critiqued as "not enough flavor" then "too much flavor" and my cakes as "way too expensive". But I didn't take it personally. Food, like literature, is subjective and not everyone is going to go gaga over what you're selling. (Although I should say that I did get positive reviews, not only back when I had a bakery but currently with my writing.)
So if you're in a subjective field, you need to have a tough skin. Yes, words hurt, but take the constructive criticism and throw away the rest.
I received my first rejection today in regards to an article I hoped to get published. It was a very professional email rejection, nothing terrible. I simply started brainstorming other places I could submit my article that may be interested. Just because they didn't like it doesn't mean it's terrible. It just means it wasn't for them.
In general, the arts tend to boil down to preference which makes it difficult at times. Or difficult a lot of the times. But whenever I start to get discouraged, I think of some of the pop singers out there that are making millions who, in my opinion, can't hold a tune. I figure if there are enough people in the world to make those singers stars, then surely there's an audience for what I want to accomplish. At least, I hope.