1 The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness: the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions.
2 The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity: nylon is excellent in wearability, abrasion resistance and resilience.
Do you spring back into shape, or does a rejection floor you? As a writer you have to be prepared for a lot of rejection and that can be painful. Writers have a tendency towards sensitivity; it’s why we can put ourselves in other people’s (our character’s) shoes, we must breathe life into each one and feel their struggle, pain and joy. As a writer you must tap into a range of emotions. However, if you have an aspiration to be published then you have to learn to take rejection, take note of valid criticism and learn to come back, stronger, tougher and a better writer.
Rejections come in a number of forms, some more painful and drawn out than others. Failure to be selected for a competition barely registers on my rejection meter; judging is subjective. You often get the opportunity to read the winning entries in an anthology or online and then you can make a comparison between your own offering and the successful entries and you can learn from that. Sometimes this is illuminating and sometimes baffling, but at least you get to see what has caught the judge’s attention. Rejection from an agent is often in the form of the standard response letter that doesn't give much away. A personal letter from an agent should be viewed as encouraging, they have taken the trouble to share some helpful insights into your writing and given that their responsibility is to the authors they actually represent, any suggestions they make should be taken seriously.
The first time you get burnt it’s extremely painful, but with repetition (and there will be plenty of that) a more solid protective layer of tissue builds up, the sensitive nerve endings are dulled and the writer in you begins to shrug rather than wail. You have built resilience you stretch and reconfigure quickly; pushing out another submission or entering another competition without breaking your stride; you have become resilient.