- you get a review disparaging your novel, your morals, and your pet parakeet
- you don't feel like your writing is being championed by your agent, or your editor, or even your mother
- you can barely garner a like on your Facebook page while other writers are winning awards left and right
When trials such as these dog a writer's life, the kneejerk reaction is to pat the poor little writer on the head and say, "Cheer up, my writerly friend. Don't take these things so personally."
And at that point, the writer ought to to deliver a roundhouse kick to the head. Why? Because not only is that sentiment nothing but a big fat platitude, it's a bald-faced lie. These things are personal, there's no getting around it.
Again . . . why?
Because it's impossible to pen an authentic tale that touches a reader's heart and soul unless the author pours out his own heart and soul into the words. A writer stands before a reader naked; parts of his psyche are embedded in the characters, the dialogue, and especially in the internal monologue. When that creation is rejected -- or worse, ignored -- it's normal for the creator to take it personally.
But that doesn't mean you have to wallow in sorrow. Go ahead and feel the sting, grieve if you have to, then cut your losses and move on. Not everyone is going to "get" your writing. Writing is art and art is subjective.
(Go ahead. Steal the graphic. You know you want to. And you have my permission.)