“Don’t worry, keep trying!” “You know Harry Potter was rejected eleven times before it was finally accepted!” “You’re a great writer.”
Rejection is the number one worry, fear and warning when someone desires to be a writer. The process of publication is a torturous, tiring and time consuming one. You’re work must be pristine, void of mistakes, sellable and original. A typo and you’re out. A cliche and NIX. Crappy cover letter? Don’t even bother submitting. Never been published? Sucks to suck!
The more you submit, the better chances of being accepted but also the more rejection letters you receive, and soon they start piling on themselves. Soon, the gracious rejection letter starts to sound like this:
You work is dumb, you suck, find a new profession, bye.”
And you start to believe the words that were made up in your own head.
Enjoy a rejection letter I recently received:
Dear Madison Lawson,
Thank you for letting us read your story, “Broken Love Language.” Unfortunately, we are not able to accept it for publication at this time, though we do encourage you to submit to us in the future. We receive thousands of submissions each year, and we must reject many fine stories, and this rejection does not mean that your story is without merit.
We wish you the best in placing it elsewhere.
The Fiction Editors
This magazine was on the “Top Tier” of Magazines to publish to and that email was disheartening, to be honest, but three days later I received this one:
Sorry for the delay in replying to your submission. I would be happy to post your story, however I need to clarify one thing first.
You said your story was submitted elsewhere as well, so I would like to check if it has been posted elsewhere before I post it here.
Once I receive an answer, I will get back to you with a date of publication.
Thanks also for the nice things you said about my site.
This was an exciting moment because the story I submitted, “Friends?”, was a story my counselor asked me to write, not even a story I intended on having published.
No matter the amount of rejection letters you receive, know there is an acceptance around the corner. And listen to the letters you received. Better yourself. Edit your stories. Grow with the world, mold with the times, but stay true to yourself.
You’ve chosen a world of rejection and doubt. You’ve chosen the questions “But what do you really want to do?” and “How are you going to live off of that?”
The world doesn’t need your story, in complete honesty. But you need your story. And someone needs your story. Believe in it. Don’t let the doubt control you, and move forward.