Somehow being turned down for a gig, either in a showcase or from my own solicitation
does not carry the same sting as a form letter rejection of a writing piece.
Even after 35 years of professional writing, (mostly non-fiction), my fiction and poetry, plays and creative non-fiction are rejected and it hurts. The sting to pride is great–they didn’t like me or the pen I rode in on. Logically, having been an editor myself at various points in time, I know that rejection does not always mean they do not :”like” you. A magazine or online source is not a friendship group. Sometimes a good piece is simply the wrong fit for the upcoming issues or for that publication entirely.
Non-congruent fits with the publication mean your (my ) research has been thorough. Wrong for upcoming issues or not quite right mean that you (I) have not hit the mark with that story , even tho it is the type of story that magazine uses.
But form letters still hurt. There is no escaping them. Editors cannot respond to the volume of manuscripts they receive using personal notes. SO, when we get a personal note as I did a few months ago from one of the magazines that I am targeting, it was a joyous rejection. Yep, she rejected my work, but said she could not wait to see the next piece. Unfortunately, earlier this week I received a form rejection of that next submission. Instead of stepping up, I took a step back on the rejection scale.
So, what to do? Cry? Withdraw? Sulk? Self-publish? No. I will wait a few days, and then give the story a cold hard look. Deep in my heart, I knew I was taking a chance on sending in this one because the protagonist is twelve years old. Even though I am aiming at an adult audience, I think most will view it as a YA. Now I need to do another market search and see if I need to adjust the length to meet the needs of a YA market.
Rejection means revision to me. A wake-up call on where I market an item and a time to give my literary gem a bit more polish before sending it off on its way to an audience of readers.
So, to all those out there who fear rejection, I say–it’s a paper monster. When you get one, make it into an origami crane. Send the email ones back into cyberspace and go back to work. Work is the cure for rejection. Persistence, work, a stamp, work, an email and work.!
Question: Wht would you think of Tuesday-Thrusday guest blogs? A lagniappe of sorts?