You get passed up for that promotion?
You get a text from that "someone special" who's not as special as you thought?
The same goes with writing. If you want to get your work published, you're going to have to find a way to stomach the rejection. I believe that rejection starts early in the publishing process for a reason -- so you'll get used to it.
Because query letter stage?
Managed to land an agent? Yay! But then you'll be on submission to editors. And that brings...
Even when you get a book deal with a publishing house, big or small, you'll need to be steeled against the rejection. That's right, the rejection that comes from readers. See, not everyone is going to like your book.
So how do you prepare yourself for the rejection? How do you manage when you're in the throes of rejection? It's easy to say "Oh, I'll be fine. I know it's coming, and I'll be fine."
The truth is, you won't be fine. At some point, you're not going to be fine. You're going to want to quit, because it's just too hard to keep trying. And this goes for authors in all stages--in fact, I think sometimes published authors suffer from rejection just as those looking for agents.
I know, I know, cry me a river. I'm not placing a label like "more than" or "less than" here. I'm not saying agent rejection is harder than editor rejection is harder than reader rejection. It's all hard. Some is more constant than others, but it all invokes an urge to quit.
I think the only way to continue on in times like these is to have something beyond writing that can ground you.
This could be a spouse. Another family member. A pet. A vacation spot you frequent. Whatever. I think the best way to cope with the rejection is to have an escape from everything publishing. A reminder that your entire identity isn't dependent on having an agent, a publisher, an award, or a 5-star review.
If you have that something in your life, you'll be able to endure the rejection that is inevitable in this industry. Mine is my fantastic husband. I know that no matter if I never write another book or if I only get 1-star reviews for Surrender, that my worth to him is not diminished. Who I am is not dependent on those things, and that's how I endure the constant rejection.
How do you endure the rejection?