Yes, I said the "R" word! Every aspiring writer has dealt with it, and I hate to break it to you, but even AFTER you get your first book published, you may have to deal with it again. I'm experiencing my own brand of rejection now that I'm trying to get an agent. And I have to say it can be pretty disheartening. What's worse than a rejection email or letter is total silence and alot of agencies these days are of the "if we didn't contact you, we didn't like your proposal" school. It's like the guy you gave your phone number to, but he never called you back. Not only are you pissed, but totally heartbroken. Why doesn't he like me??? Can't he see how great I am? I thought we had a connection! LOL
But know that you are not alone. Here's an article from Romance Times Online, How to Overcome Rejection: One Author's Journey. I's a great piece by Tricie Hickman who penned Unexpected Interruptions (recently reprinted by Dafina, Kensington Publishing.) She talks about how she received rejections from everyone, yes, EVERYONE she submitted to and subsequently started her own publishing house to get it out there. Now she's gotten good reviews, a few awards, strong sales...and a publishing house ended up reprinting her book anyway! Goes to show that rejection comes with the territory but you shouldn't let it stop you. (I repeat that mantra to myself about 10 times a day. LOL)
Keep hope alive!