Getting Cosy With Rejection–A Quick Note On Being an Unpublished Writer

For those of you who don’t know, I don’t just write this blog because I’m hilarious and want to share it with the world (and humble). I’m actually pursuing an actual DEGREE in writing because I want to write everything all the time, more or less. However, writing is one of those fields where in order to succeed you must constantly put yourself out there and expect rejection. Delayed, painful, heart breaking rejection.

I’ve been rejected many times now and it almost seems easy, matter-of-fact. I send my stories out to journals and hope they’ll be accepted, but I almost always expect to see that “We regret to inform you that this story is not what we’re looking for at the present time,” form letter in my inbox.

Only the waiting period is ETERNITY. It’s often three months at the least, but usually much, much longer. So I always go through a sort of process.

At first, the nervousness as I type up my cover letter and attach the file to the email (most submissions are electronic these days). Then the excitement after I hit send and realize my work is zooming through cyberspace towards a potential publisher.

And then. Horror. What have I done?! That piece was NOT READY TO BE SEEN! All the things were just ALL WRONG. They were going to reject me. Hell, they were going to take one look at it and email me back an immediate no.

And then I just sort of forget about it for a while. I know in some part of me that it’s out there, floating around, sitting on some editor’s desk somewhere (maybe). But it doesn’t actively bother me.

Until one day the email shows up. The subject line is vague, could be anything. A rejection, I tell myself. But the hope doesn’t quite fade away. I click it eagerly, close my eyes a moment, and then open them.

Dissapointment. That’s what I’ve been faced with each time thus far. But it’s not as crushing when I remind myself how many times all the greats were rejected. It’s almost a point of pride. I am tempted to print my rejection letters, paste them to the walls like wallpaper. Because one day, when I’m published, REALLY published, I want to be able to say I, too, was rejected multiple times before my award-winning work saw the light of day.

And in the mean time? Well, lucky for me, there’s always the internet.

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