I received my first rejection letter last night after submitting a fictional short story. Honestly, I wasn't surprised since it was my first submission. I actually agreed that it probably wasn't a great fit for the particular magazine but some very positive things came out of that rejection.
1. I faced my fears and submitted my first story. That was hard to do. I haven't let a lot of people read my writing but I did it and I'm proud of myself.
2. The managing editor for the magazine wants to see more of my writing. I think this speaks well for me since that particular story might not have been the right fit but perhaps another will be.
3. I still want to write. I realized that this doesn't really matter. Sometimes you're rejected. It happens. It's a part of life. It's part of growing and maturing.
4. I feel like I'm making progress. Perhaps a rejection letter seems anti-progress but I think in some respects I've taken my first step.
Next step, send more stories. Write more, try again and never stop.
As you've probably figured out, I'm a writer. I've been writing my whole life but it wasn't until recently that I realized that's what I want to be, an author. Now I'm taking charge and being a woman of action!
Except, right now, I feel like I'm waiting. Why am I waiting? What am I waiting for? Well, I just submitted a short story to a literary magazine and I'm waiting to hear back. It's a little bit nerve wracking when I think about it. So most of the time I work on my other short stories, poems or my novel to keep my mind occupied. Then it hits me, I submitted something I wrote to someone I don't know.
I haven't shown my writing to a lot of people. Unless of course you insist on counting all of the essays I've written. Essays with long, complicated titles and pages and pages of pedantic nonsense. That's how they made me feel anyway. When I write fiction or poetry, I feel...I feel content. It's exactly what I want to be doing. It feels good.
Then I think about it again and I think, y'know, they probably won't like it. Don't you hate the little nay-sayer in your head? "No, you can't do that," it hisses cruelly. Then the rational part of me says, even if they don't like it, that's okay. They don't have to like it. What's important to me right now is the fact I put myself out there and tried. You know what else? I'm going to keep trying.
I think failure is just as important as success. In fact, I know it is. Failure teaches you what not to do so you change it for next time. Although who doesn't enjoy success?
Here's to crossing my fingers for good news!
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