Until this year.
I got rejected. By work. To present on a software package I helped create! Following Kubler-Ross to a tee, my reaction was as follows:
DENIAL: "What? I think they sent this email to me by mistake."
ANGER: "Fools! They'll rue the day they did not choose me to present my material!"
BARGAINING: "Ok, what if I make it shorter and include a section where I'm juggling flaming chainsaws? On a unicycle?"
DEPRESSION: <surly silence>
ACCEPTANCE: "I think they're doing the event in Vegas next year! I should probably start preparing now."
When I think how many rejection slips I've received from various publishers and editors over the past 5 years, I have to grin. This? This is nothing.
"You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.” – Ray Bradbury
“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.” – Sylvia Plath
“Rejections slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil – but there is no way around them.” – Isaac Asimov
“Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.” – James Lee Burke
AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE:
“Rejection has value. It teaches us when our work or our skillset is not good enough and must be made better. This is a powerful revelation, like the burning UFO wheel seen by the prophet Ezekiel, or like the McRib sandwich shaped like the Virgin Mary seen by the prophet Steve Jenkins. Rejection refines us. Those who fall prey to its enervating soul-sucking tentacles are doomed. Those who persist past it are survivors. Best ask yourself the question: what kind of writer are you? The kind who survives? Or the kind who gets asphyxiated by the tentacles of woe?” – Chuck Wendig