I've been rejected so many times that I've actually created a label for it on my blog to categorize all the posts I've written on the subject. This label is useful, not just to document the inevitable "downs" that go along with the pursuit of this dream, but because this will happen again. It's bound to, because I am destined to put myself out there again. It's part of who I am and this practice always comes with the appropriate amount of disappointment.
And when it happens, I cry (I always cry). And then these setbacks stay in the front of my mind for weeks. Sometimes I'm mad when I think about them, sometimes I'm confused, and other times I feel like an outright failure. My mom told me after this most recent rejection that "The only real failure isn't trying". And when she told me that, I said, "That's what losers say" with real sincerity, even though I know she's right.
After this brooding phase passes, the defeat moves to the back of my mind where it remains for a year or two or more until I'm done using it as fuel to propel me. Yes, fuel, because I certainly don't keep it there so I can dwell on disappointment or feel sorry for myself (only occasionally). I know life isn't long enough for that kind of melancholia. This is the path I've chosen and I have to be strong enough to deal with the inevitable obstacles it leads me to.
I use these setbacks to help provoke my next move, whatever that may be; another article, better and more refined than the last, a different movie, with a more imaginative plot than before. Because what else do you do? Give up? I'm not going to do that. Nothing, in pursuit of this dream, could be more depressing than giving up.
What are your experiences with defeat? How do you deal with it? How do you move on?