Rejection. It is a big, ugly word. No one likes to hear it. As a teen you learn to fear it from the opposite sex. As a writer you must not only learn to accept it, but love it.
Before our flood, I wrote a fifty word story to a great site where I have submitted pieces before. Stories for the site must be no more and no less than fifty words. Exactly. It’s a fun challenge. I really liked this little story so I thought maybe I had a chance.
It was rejected.
I was getting the feeling it would be as the email didn’t arrive later and later. Still, I was disappointed when the letter arrived. Yes, it was only fifty words but the piece was a rough jewel I had inside of me that I managed to chisel into a story. Maybe it wasn’t a diamond, or even a pearl, but I liked the stone. I guess you just never know.
Rejected Material is a Matter of Opinion
Yes, there is a method to writing. Every story must have a beginning middle and end, yet even if it’s technically well-crafted someone may still hate your writing. It all depends on the experiences the reader has had, and if they can relate to your writing.
I do first reads for Grimdark Magazine (Which has a new issue out! If you like Game of Thrones you should really check it out.) One of the biggest things I’ve noticed first reading is that a story can follow all the writing rules, you can love it and think it’s going to make it all the way to the editor only to have it rejected by the next reader. Or a story I don’t love makes it to the top. See? Opinions.
How to Learn to Love Rejection
You want so much to see acceptance in your inbox. You can already feel the joy it will bring. Maybe, if you get that yes, you can finally call yourself a writer. Or your spouse won’t feel like you don’t do anything all day. So when you get that ‘unfortunately not’, you hate it.
You should love it. That unfortunate letter means that you are doing what you should be.
You are working.
You are trying.
You are failing.
But like an inventor, you learn through every explosion in your face. Each time you don’t give up you realize this job is what you were meant to do. You love writing but, if you want to get your name and story out there, you will have rejections. Everyone does.
So, love each part: the sound the keys make as you spill your soul onto the keyboard, editing, submitting, and rejection. Get excited when they say no; it means the better yes is coming.
I am not perfect. This post is certainly not perfect. The best we can do is try and simply enjoy the task before us.
My Little Story
Here is my little rejected story and a slice of motherhood for you.
Get Ready, Get set…
The microwave beeps. Coffee’s reheated.
“Buddy, lets go.”
“No!” The three-year-old yells.
Her other son’s face reddens. The smell of half-sour yogurt and blueberries fills the air.
“One. Two…” She warns, while wiping poop.
Baby’s changed. They finally walk out the door.
The coffee remains untouched and cold.
What’s your opinion? Have you learned to love rejection?