I don't have to tell all of you that rejection stings. We've all been there - if not with our writing then at least in life. (And if you meet a person who says they've never been rejected ever, wonder if they've got a bridge to sell you, too.)
First let me start off by saying I don't think mine is the generally accepted way to handle rejection. In general, we're all supposed to just suck it up. And for godsakes, don't talk about it on the internet. Makes you look like a loser or some such crap. (A notion probably put forth by the same people who claim to never have been rejected, I assume.)
What I do to combat rejection is I wallow in it a little. I bitch. I complain. Sometimes I write a blog post or two trying to figure out what the hell went wrong. (Always without being specific with the exact names of agents and agencies - I'm wallowing, but I'm not insane.) The point is, I let it out.
Then I let it go.
Sure, my last rejection stung like the Dickens. And sure, I pissed and moaned about it to friends - and perfect strangers on the blogs. Then I let it go. It is what it is. You have to get it out and let it go so you can move on.
Which means more submissions and ultimately more rejections. And perhaps more wallowing. Trust me, though, over time rejections do sting less - unless it's a submission you really had your heart set on, but even that sting goes away faster with each instance.
And hey, if my wallowing helps another writer see that he isn't alone in his pain, then that's even better.
What do you think? Do you wallow or do you hold it inside? Or do you just wallow privately where no one can see you? Does seeing someone else go through the same pain as you lessen it for you a little?