Monday, January 31, 2011

Rejection Day Blues

Photo by KatLevPhoto

Once, I had a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” to quote Judith Voirst, poet and children’s book author.

I had submitted an article to a popular children’s magazine.  The editor’s reply read:  “We’re not accepting manuscripts at this time.”  However, her e-mail sent to me four weeks prior stated: “Yep, we accept submissions.”  Likewise, her website indicated that submissions were being sought.                                         

I’ve received hundreds of rejections, so why did this rejection make me feel so bad?  I don’t know.  Maybe it had something to do with the weather, or a bad hair day, or just a general sense of why-the-heck-am-I-writing-anyway-blues.  Or maybe I felt bad because I felt that the editor had lied to me.         

I tried several ways to relieve the yucky feeling:  washed the car, cooked dinner, got some exercise, ate chocolate.  But, nothing worked.  It took me several weeks to realize that holding on to the painful rejection was not healthy.  I needed to let go of it.  During this time period however, it dawned on me that editors’ needs constantly change.

After swearing that I would never submit to this editor again, I wondered what I should do with my article.  A piece this well-written shouldn’t hide in a desk drawer.  I decided to send it off to another children’s publication as soon as possible.  In doing so, my article was accepted by another editor.  It was also snatched up by an educational database.

Let’s face it. You know as well as I do that rejections stink. And they make us feel bad.  But it’s up to you to think of them differently.  They are part of writing; and as much as I hate to admit, rejections will help you grow.  Remember that you write because you’re driven.  Because you just have to.  Trust that you haven’t yet found the right editor for your piece, but that you will.  And know that days filled with writing are not always “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-days”, but wonderful, delightful, very good days. 

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