Background: I am finishing up my PhD. I'm lucky to be at a good school and my PhD was funded by a competitive scholarship. I have published work from my master's in humanities as a solo author, and as a co-author, I have published a conference paper in CS. But I feel a tremendous amount of stress to have work published in my own field.
The problem I am trying to be resilient for is that my supervisor, who is very warm and friendly, has basically contributed nothing to my PhD. I ask for feedback and they say "looks good!", no matter what I've done. I plead for help from whomever else in my department has five minutes to spare, and I have gotten so much more care and feedback from these people (who are less senior, already overworked, and in objectively less in a position to help me than my supervisor is), although my supervisor is an author on my work.
I understand this hands-off approach can be a sign of confidence, but my very first submitted manuscript was recently rejected by a journal. My supervisor, who doesn't appear to know exactly what is in the manuscript, wrote me to say "don't worry, if we produce major revisions, we might still be able to publish!"
I got a lot of the constructive feedback I desperately needed from the reviewers, but I don't actually agree with the primary reason why it was rejected, which is more to do with theory/experimental philosophy. So I feel a combination of shame (it was a non-blinded review) that I made rookie errors that my supervisor didn't help me to catch, but also I bristle that my supervisor is so quick to accept the overall outcome, without having contributed or helped or potentially even knowing what the manuscript is trying to achieve. One of the kindly non-supervisors in my department who read it and gave me feedback said they disagreed with the reviewers (as regards the theoretical reasons for rejection) and that I shouldn't change, but should work in the helpful criticism and then submit elsewhere.
So, here is where I am at. I have suffered a large blow to my confidence, I have multiple PhD chapters that I am trying to develop into manuscripts all by myself, and I feel like I am clueless and overwhelmed by the amount of work that is. I am also worried this will make finding a post-doc very difficult. Since getting my first manuscript published has been hundreds of hours of lonely labour so far, I am starting to wonder if it is silly of me to think I can also produce all these other papers on my own.
My ultimate question is, how can I stay resilient and get myself out of this situation, and find my momentum again? It feels like I started my PhD with so much optimism and and I really love research. I know I could work in industry or government, but I want to continue in this field. I just don't know if I am failing to read the writing on the wall, or whether I need to change tactics, instead of just slogging along, by myself, writing naive manuscripts that will be rejected and continue to pile up.