I learned that not every rejection slip is easy to read. But many of them can be. The secret is to diminish the amount of importance on any particular one. As soon as the Send button is pushed on the email with the precious attachment, it's time to click on the new projects folder and get to work.
A writer deeply involved in writing a story has a new baby in the house. It's harder to be crushed when the older toddler scrapes his knee. It happens. And, there's a bit of pain but the new baby takes the attention.
With self-publishing, may people will never get to read these words: While this project has merit, we do not believe it is right for us at this time.
People will self-publish, and their sales will be their gauge of whether the project has merit. But a lot of wonderful reads get buried in the mountain of books, and it's possibly not any easier for a story to get noticed now than when rejections were easy to gather.
Perhaps cliché's are too true. No matter how much things change, they really don't change very much. Rejection slips will always be with us in one form or another. It's best to see them as little bits of paper that can be wadded and burned, or as steps to your next goal.