Seth Godin's The Dip may be a helpful principle for writer's to follow to deal effectively with rejection. In general, the principle is that it's naive to think that one will have a linear rise to reaching the New York Times Bestseller list.
Realistically, a writer may have to experience The Dip where rejection will be the norm; however, the longer one writes the better the chance that he will be published. In general, one will (eventually) see a direct correlation between effort and returns; however, like Ben Fountain, it may take up to 18 years.
Here are some quotes from writers that may help you get through The Dip:
Sylvia Plath, "I love my rejection slips. They show me I try."
F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Work like hell! I had 122 rejection slips before I sold a story."
Isaac Asimov, "Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil — but there is no way around them."