#RiteOfRejection: But I'm not a cheerleader

It's release week for Rite of Rejection and the kick off of the blog tour. Check out the tour page for a full list of all the stops. To celebrate all this awesomeness I've invited several authors to come talk about their own brushes with rejection. In the center ring today is Rachel Desilets, author the dark contemporary YA, Girl Nevermore. 

Take it away, Rachel.

Most writers won’t be able to count the number of times they’ve been rejected professionally, and if they can, it might be an exorbitantly high number. I’ll admit one of my manuscripts is well over thirty rejections, but that’s not the point of this piece.
Rejection hurts. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably too proud to admit it. From a break up, to not getting cast as the lead role, to not getting on the team: it always sucks when you’re told you’re not good enough.
When I was twelve, I wanted to try something new. I had been a quiet, bookish kid (still am), but my middle school self wanted a reinvention. I asked myself, “How can I become more outgoing, but still be me?”
Up until that point, I had participated in gymnastics–a fun sport, but not really the social pick-me-up I was looking for. So, I decided to try out for cheerleading. Now, I should paint this picture:
A gawky, nervous kid with gangly limbs and absolutely no curves. Stick thin with just a bit of upper arm definition. A wry smile, even though she doesn’t know what that word means yet. Big, blue, and consistently shell-shocked eyes. She’s enamored by the world, but also saddened by it; though, she doesn’t know that yet either.
To other people, she comes off as pompous, but unsure. Distant to the point of being an unknown part of the background.
Tryouts at my school lasted two weeks with several rounds of cuts. Making it through the first round didn’t mean anything. I showed up bright and early, lack of confidence and all, and watched as these girls practiced and stretched. It only made me more determined. I might not have been the loudest in the bunch, but I could force my enthusiasm. I could be like them.
This was the new me, not the clarinet-toting girl of yesteryear.
I worked my butt off. I practiced the routine for hours after school. I studied the contours of my body, trying to get that straddle jump higher, my split lower, and the cheer louder. I wanted my smile to feel genuine. I wanted to be as happy as I looked.
And it worked... for the first round anyway. My name was plastered on the gymnasium wall along with forty hopeful girls. Another practice, another tryout, and one of the girls and I held hands as the couch posted the latest results. We inched through the mob, some girls ecstatic, others looking like their dreams had come to an abrupt halt.
My friend and I didn’t make the team.
It was a much more public rejection than the quiet, writer type. Everyone could see my face and the sorrow crossing over it. It wasn’t just about the team; it rarely is. Not making it said something about me. I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t deserve the chance to reinvent myself. I was always going to be an outsider, a girl doomed to watch from the sidelines.
Even when I made a different team (cross-country), I still felt separated from the world around me. It took me a long time to realize it had nothing to do with being on a team, and everything to do with me. I’m a socially awkward introvert who feels most at home with other introverts. I was seeking acceptance in a world I would never understand, and that’s okay. I didn’t need a reinvention; I needed to accept who I was.
So sometimes rejection changes the path we’re on for the better. Instead of covering up who I was under false enthusiasm, I did a lot of soul-searching. To this day, running still helps clear my head like it did back then. The difference is, it’s a solitary sport for me (a solitary person).
Even if you are rejected, there might be a better reason for it–one you can’t see yet. Stay tenacious and stay true to who you are. You won’t steer yourself wrong.

Thanks, Rachel. I think we can all related to that sting of rejection.

Rachel A. Desilets was raised in a small New Hampshire town, but left it behind to attend Emerson College in Boston. After graduating with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, she moved to southern California.

Working as a barista, she somehow turned her life into a cliché and met her husband while serving him coffee. They fell in love, got married, adopted a bunch of cats, and moved to the rainy side of Oregon.

When she's not writing, she plays video games, drinks tea, reads way too much (though, she wonders if there is such a thing as too much reading), and snowboards.

Girl Nevermore - On Sale Today and Tomorrow for $.99!

Last week, Cooper Mesa was a quiet, studious bookworm.

This week, she feels unworthy of love or forgiveness.

When Cooper's twin sister, Kayla, tries to end her own life, Cooper blames herself. If only she had paid more attention...

Desperate to understand her sister's decision, Cooper starts down a dark path, discovering her own inner turmoil. Losing herself is easy, but finding a reason to live is becoming impossible.

Available on Amazon!