3. Get back to work immediately
Never let everything ride on a single design — it’s a recipe for heartbreak. Keep your creative soul busy so you have less time to brood. Rejection hurts less when you’re already busy creating something new and exciting. Staying busy and looking forward will keep you from hitting roadblocks.
Master storyteller Stephen King once said:
By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.
Designers should always have personal projects in the works. Clients often have bland business requirements that can stifle your personal style and creativity — use side projects to feed your soul and free your self-expression. Side projects will channel your energy and negate some of the effects of rejection.
4. Be prepared
Clients aren't focused on artistic expression — they’ve got money at stake. You will face rejection of some sort. Clients may ask you to revise parts of the design, redo the entire thing, or maybe even ask someone else to take charge.
While this can be devastating, understand it’s all a part of the business. When the time is right, you might be having drinks with the same people who rejected you. They’ll be signing checks and singing praises for your design.
5. Know you’re in good company
I know you know what’s coming — but it’s worth hearing again:
Every creative has been rejected at least once — likely more.
JK Rowling was turned down by 12 editors before Harry Potter became a cult classic. Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor thought he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Emily Dickinson only published a dozen of her 1,800 poems while she was alive. Stephen King’s first book, Carrie was rejected 30 times.
The creatives we see as infallible stars all faced a good deal of rejection in their careers. And they never let it stop them!
Rejection is part of the process, so you can't let it crush you. My first three novels never made it into publication, but my fourth, Sheltering Rain, was translated into 11 languages.
Stubbornly continue creating
Develop a mindset to push on in the face of rejection. Everyone in a creative profession — writers, artists, designers — must be prepared for rejection. And the truth is, if you handle it well, rejection makes you better. It lets you step back with a critical eye and learn from your mistakes.
Create. Be rejected. Grow. Create more. Repeat.