Rejection is going to happen if you put your writing out there. No matter how good you are, no matter how hard you work, no matter how much of your time and soul you put into your writing, someone out there is going to hate it. And that someone is likely to be the editor of the magazine you think your story is perfect for.
When this happens do you stick the rejection letter on a spike like Stephen King did, keeping each hard earned rejection like a badge of honor? Do you cry and eat a pint of ice cream? Do you jump in to your next story fueled by hatred of the egotistical poo faces who could not tell good writing if it bit them in the ass? Do you take a few days off to lick your wounds? Do you question your entire life’s goals and think about giving it all up?
Rejection is something that I think is hard for almost everyone. It hurts.
I think the fear of having to face this is one of the biggest reasons I waited so long to send out my stories. I pictured what it would feel like to get that email saying my work was not wanted. I figured it would be coldly polite and impersonal most of the time. Maybe if I am lucky it might give a few pointers. I feared it might be rude or hurtful at times. If you have never been rejected before, it looks something like this:
“Thanks for submitting to the ——–, however, we are going to pass on this.”
I was not expecting it to be so…dismissive. You pass on green bean casserole. My story was like that frightful dish that shows up at so many family events. You don’t need to taste it or even smell it to know that there is no way you are going to subject yourself to it. Did these editors even taste my story? Did they bite into the first sentence, giving it a fair chance, or did they just go on to the next dish? Most of the time I don’t like people to lie to me, but a little something would have been nice here. Maybe a “this is not quite what we are looking for” or “Good story, I liked the —- but it does not fit with our thing.”
So, I have been rejected. Twice in one week. How am I dealing with it and trying to get past it? Well for starts I ate some broccoli cheese soup and a baked potato. Then I wrote this. Sure, I am not getting paid for this, and I am not going to see my name in print just yet. But I am a blogger. I have 10s of readers, and odds are good one of them will make it to the end. Thank you.
4 thoughts on “Rejection”
Rejection is inevitable and I’ve been steeling myself for the last two years. It’s gonna hurt, but hopefully I have a strong enough support system in place to catch me when I fall.
With every success there are hills to climb and fully expect to tumble down a few times! Good luck to us both!
I don’t remember who said this, but someone said “Each rejection out of the way is one step closer to success”. Or something like that. I am going to think of it that way for now, two rejections are done and out of the way. I don’t have to do those to again. Next email I get from a publisher might be about the story that sells.
Good luck. I hope each rejection you get turns out to be a good learning experience. And I almost hope you don’t get to many.
I’m so late leaving a reply here, but I wanted to say that I really love THIS piece of writing. This post was really funny. I laughed at the comparison to green bean casserole. And I love your reference to “10s of readers”. I still have one of my first (stranger-to-me) readers from three blogs ago. She is so valuable to me. Eventually it becomes more about numbers, but those first few readers and commenters are so, so precious.
Every time I get a reply from a new person I get so excited. Blogging out to the world like this has been an interesting experience. Up until now with the old live journal, facebook and google + the only people who comment on anything I post are people I know in real life. But here, the majority of people who comment are strangers to me, from far away places.
I love going to their about page finding out about them and then reading their blog. It is an interesting experience, building a fragile web based on change and interest.