Monday, March 22, 2010

Rejection Stinks, Even if One Knows It's Dumb to Take It Personally

So, it looks like I'll not be giving a paper at next year's MLA. This is not the first time an abstract of mine has been rejected, and it won't be the last, and having organized panels myself, I understand that such rejections happen for all manner of reasons that only rarely have something to do with an abstract being a piece of crap. But rejection, no matter how philosophical one is about it or how used to it one is, or how much one gets that it's part of the process, still stings.

This means that I've been slightly bummed today, even though ultimately I've been getting lots of work done. I knocked out the minor revisions on the review essay, I caught up on some emails, and now I'm settling in for an afternoon/evening of grading. The more work I've been doing, the better I am feeling, but I'm still sort of in a funk. You know, here's the thing: rejection never actually stops, as far as I can tell, in this line of work. Well, or it could stop if one just gave up on trying to do things, but you can't actually succeed in the profession if you give up on trying to do things. And I suppose that one might say that if one is a "superstar" that one wouldn't get rejected, but that's not true either. You just would get rejected from bigger things, as far as I can tell. Maybe not as frequently, but still.

I'm just feeling so tired at this point in the semester, and I'd really like some good news. This doesn't need to be professional good news. It could be house-buying news, or some other sort of good news that I can't predict.

But for the moment, no good news. So I suppose I should just get back to work, get more things done, and stop my whining.

6 comments:

PhysioProf said...

You know, here's the thing: rejection never actually stops, as far as I can tell, in this line of work. Well, or it could stop if one just gave up on trying to do things, but you can't actually succeed in the profession if you give up on trying to do things. And I suppose that one might say that if one is a "superstar" that one wouldn't get rejected, but that's not true either. You just would get rejected from bigger things, as far as I can tell.

Yep.

Bardiac said...

Sorry about the paper. It probably just didn't fit the panel the organizer finally put together. But it's still a bummer.

I hope you hear about the house sometime today. I think bankers might work on Mondays?

PhDLadybug said...

Sorry to hear about the paper. It sucks but you are right, sometimes it does not fit the panel, and there's too many papers sent, that's all.

haphazardmusings said...

Sorry about the rejection. You're right: It happens to everybody. I once received a great piece of advice, "If you're going to be an academic, you need to have a very thick skin."

I hope some good news comes your way very soon!

Jackie said...

I'm still semi-reeling from a rejection I got about six weeks ago, so yes, I sympathize with the suckiness of rejection. I hope you get some good news soon--I am definitely feeling that academic fatigue at this point in the year, and there's still a quarter to go!

Ann said...

I'm glad it wasn't your house offer that was rejected! (At least, not yet?) It's just a paper.

I recently got word of two rejections for fellowships. I take those less personally than rejections of articles or paper proposals, because the competition is so incredibly tough. But still, rejection sucks.

My goal is to send out so many grant applications, articles, and books that I become immune to the sting of rejection. (Bonus: all of that stuff circulating out there maximizes your chances for acceptance, too!)

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