I just received word from a popular magazine. I worked hard on a short story, sent it off with the hopes of seeing it in print, then waited eight weeks (when I could have been sending it to other magazines). And my reward? This horrid feeling of rejection. They didn’t want it. My work is unappreciated, or, dare I even think it, unpublishable.
But that’s what the writing business is all about, isn’t it? So I gave myself five minutes to silently grieve, then went through my list of short story markets and resubmitted my little baby to another magazine. I’ve learned that my skin has to be thicker than the foundation on my house. What’s the alternative? Quit writing? Like that’ll happen…
Writing is a tough business on the human psyche. When I worked as a budget analyst for the local police force, I didn’t have to worry about my boss handing my reports back to me with a note that said it “just wasn’t for him.” But since I started writing, or more specifically, since I started sending out queries and proposals and cover letters, I’ve received hundreds of little slips of paper, all basically saying the same thing: they don’t want my work.
But there’s bound to be someone out there who DOES want my work, and I won’t give up searching until we finally meet up. It’s not fun. It’s not particularly suspenseful or exciting. It’s just necessary. And I’ll do a fabulous victory dance when I finally hook up with the person or publisher who wants to take a chance on my work and put it in print. That’s sure to cancel out all the frustration of rejections, and I can’t wait for the day. I’ve been practicing my victory dance. My kids love it. I do, too, for what it’s worth.