|No love for you bad writer!|
I've heard that some writers hang their rejection letters on the wall.
After I received my first rejection letter, I opened up a file in my email inbox and titled it, "Rejection Letters." I decided I would put all of my rejection emails there and keep them as a matter of pride. You know, a testament to how many times I put myself out there and how plucky I was to keep on trying to get published.
I'm not gonna lie. The first rejection letter stung quite a bit. It still stings. I'm not happy about it at all. I don't really have anything optimistic or philosophic to say about it other than it sucks and it still makes me mad. And no, I have no intention of ever submitting anything to those people again.
*Sticks out tongue*
As you can see, I've decided to opt for the mature route to handling rejection.
And then today, I received my second rejection letter. It read:
"Thank you for sending us your story. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, the piece is not for us. We wish you the best on placing this elsewhere."
If that isn't curt, I don't know what is. But there it is: Rejection #2. Let us behold it in all its glory. I do have to say, however, that rejection is a little bit easier the second time around. Maybe as I fill up my Rejection Folder, I'll get more and more immune to it all. Maybe it will sting less? Perhaps I'll just immediately re-submit the rejected piece to another journal. Some day I will be bad ass like that, I just know it.
But not today.
Today it sucks. I'm not going to lie or sugarcoat this. It feels just like I feared it would. I've avoided putting myself out there in the literary world because I feared just this thing. I feared discovering that I do not have the talent. I am not good. And I feel embarrassed that I even submitted anything at all.
It's just like Middle School all over again. Only I have a car and better clothes.
I'll be fine. I've got other pieces out there. I click on my email inbox every day, hoping to see a response from one of the other literary journals. I'll keep doing it. But maybe I'll get a thicker skin as I fill up the rejection folder. Maybe Rejection Letter #3 will bum me out even less than #2?
The trick is to keep trying, I suspect. To not give up. Though the voice of doubt still whispers in my head, "Oh who do you think you're kidding? You're not good enough. You don't belong. You're just a loser."
Loser. Loser. Loser.
The taunts from my childhood still echo in my head.
But I'll shake them off. That's what grownups do. Especially grownups in therapy.
What's the point if you don't pick yourself up and start all over again?
And I will pick myself up again and be little Miss Optimistic again.
I swear I will. But maybe not just yet.
I hope I don't lose faith in myself. Maybe someone will like my writing some day? Maybe someone will connect with my stories and want to share it with other people? I know too many good writers who gave up after being rejected and I can't be that person. It's not the person I've worked so hard to be.
I don't want to end my life with feelings of, "If only …"
But trying and failing does kinda suck. I'm here to put that reality out there. And all the motivational/inspirational mumbo jumbo doesn't always own up to the fact that sometimes rejection hurts and is going to go on hurting for a while.
So I'm here to say: REJECTION SUCKS, ASSHOLES.
God damn, I wish I had an Etsy shop. I'd slap that motto on a coffee cup.
*Flips off everyone in a 360-degree radius*