The editor who was interested in my non-fiction gift book for writers has... rejected. No, I'm not devastated. Rejection is part and parcel of this business. As a matter of fact, it's the norm; acceptance is the exception.
So, does knowing this make it easier? Maybe. There's a bit of a letdown, of course, but it does not go to the heart. I've examined his comments; some were positive, stuff like "good choices" and "well researched". Others were not, such as "repetitive and forced", referring to two chapters in particular, one on the craft, the other on stumbling blocks.
I disagree absolutely with his assessment. As I told the agent in a subsequent e-mail, 'the craft' and 'stumbling blocks' are distinct, major issues for writers, judging from the books on writing I've read, from my interactions with writers, and from my reading of their blogs and websites. The chapter on the craft focuses on the actual craft of writing: on the language. The one on stumbling blocks deals with the psychological hurdles and pressures, the ones imposed by the writer as well as the external pressures. The real irony is that the editor in question has seen nothing of these chapters but the chapter titles. For a non-fiction proposal only three sample chapters are required. The chapters he mentioned weren't among those sent in the proposal package.
Doesn't matter, though, whether I'm right or wrong; that editor isn't buying the book. Maybe another one will; maybe not.
The toughest thing I've had to survive in this life was a bruising rejection from someone I loved. Editorial rejection isn't even in the same arena. It's much, much easier. Life goes on.
It's business as usual.
P.S. This is too good not to share; it's all about rejection. Thank you, Kevin.