I got my first rejection being ripped apart by a contest judge for reasons that were probably deserved.
I hadn't done any real editing of that first work and entered it into a contest anyway. I was still a bit in lala land where I thought all I had to do was write and then just be celebrated. After that bloody judgement, I considered giving up this writing thing for good.
Instead, I took a break...and returned.
When I returned, I did a bit better. The story was a for a different genre and age group but it was certainly an improvement. I self-pubbed it but didn't give it the fine-tooth edit or real marketing I should have since I aimed more to make it available for friends and family to get...if they wanted.
Also because I felt my writing heart had a different direction.
So here I am now, writing YA fantasy/sci-fi. The first story I queried, I did so after some decent self-editing. I got the usual form rejections, but I also got one rejection from an agent who sent it on a special stationary. Maybe because she was young...or maybe because she wanted me to see beyond the rejection. Between the blah, blah, blah of not for me at this time, she mentioned the good points that I could focus on so that I could work on making the story more appealing. I lost that rejection in the shuffle of moving, but it reminded me of the importance of rallying after rejection.
Guess what book this cast portrays:
60 rejections. She could have stayed down or chosen to let go of her dream. But she rallied after rejection and can claim her success.
This is not to say that you have to beat your head up against a rock until it or your skull split. Sometimes it's good to let a story marinate so that you can come back with a fresher mind and maybe even better ideas. Stick with your dreams, learn what you can and don't let the naysayers bog you down. Know that you can Rally after Rejection.