Nope, I was just fine. Limbs intact. Ego was a bit bruised, but that would fade in time. Besides, after a while, I realized-- no matter how much of your heart and soul and time is given to a company-- at the end of the day, it IS a Company. And if you are a part of that world, you are part of a world that makes Business Decisions. And the Business Decision that was made was that I was no longer a good Fit for their Current Budget.
Months later, when I poured my heart and soul and time into a short story only to receive a standard issue rejection letter, I reframed my realization: I was part of this world now, the world that makes Editorial Decisions. And my story was not a Good Fit for their publication. Disappointed, yes, but I knew the only choice was to search for the place where my writing would make sense. I sent the short story out again. And again. And again.
In spite of the rejections that continue to come my way, I keep writing and learning. I know that in order to get more work accepted, I need to submit it. The threat of rejection is no longer one of my top ten excuses not to write or submit. Is it yours?
Today's Excuse: I Can't Handle Rejection
In elementary school, did you ever get a note back from that special someone in response to the heartfelt question: "Do You Like Me? Check Yes or No"? Did the answer shape the rest of your day, your week?
As writers, we are hoping for the Yes box to be checked every time. All creative work is a tiny piece of our hearts, and we are offering it to the world, hoping our hearts will return unscathed. Instead, rejections causes some writers to turn their writing into Old Maids, with pages hidden away in drawers and notebooks, unwilling to risk heartache.
Excuse Editor Tip:
The high points of your creative process are like Spring Break, but eventually your endeavor needs to slap on a suit and get to work.
"Writing is a passion, publishing is a business." ~ Shelley LieberOnce you send your work out into the world, it is no longer about YOU. It's about the market. It's about finding the right "fit". Remember when you get a rejection that it is not personal, it's business. The current publishing market reflects our economy; book publishers are not willing to take on anything potentially risky and newspapers and magazines are folding. It's crucial to have writing that not only sticks out, but fits in. Hmm, that sounds like a strange contortionist pose to me.
The important thing to do is stand up straight and keep writing and submitting. Celebrate every rejection as if it were last place in an Olympic event: So you didn't win--but you made it all the way to the Olympics! There are so many writers out there who never even try out; by submitting your work you are placing yourself in the competition. Good for you!
Keep your writing in shape for the day when the absolute perfect writing fit finds you; it may be the steady column you were hoping for or an acceptance of your novel-- as long as we can get these six chapters edited a bit-- So you need to Be Ready to put your creative mind to work!
How do you feel about rejection? Has it kept you from sharing your work?