Positively Rejected

They say you aren’t a real writer till you can paper a room with rejections. I have been submitting manuscripts since 1990 and I could probably paper my entire house by now. I have been fortunate, I know. I have had the wonderful thrill and privilege of seeing some of my stuff in print, but gobs of rejections have come between each triumph…gobs! The first few years I sent out my work I would ceremoniously tear each rejection letter into tiny pieces and throw it away. Then I’d take the manuscript back to group, rewrite, recheck, reevaluate and get it right back in the mail. I’d kiss the envelope, taking a moment to pray that my orphan story would soon find a loving home, then drop it in the blue gaping mouth of the post box. This routine helped, a bit, to relieve the frustration that came from pulling my heart from my chest and laying it out only to have it smacked, or worse, ignored. And there were times when I’d lay down my pen and declare that this whole writing thing was just not worth it. What if I put all that heart and energy into something more attainable, more worthwhile? But there were those few notes from readers…notes that said that somehow the way I put together words made a difference for them. Somehow the sentences I had sculpted helped. And there were the “positive rejections”. Rejection letters that contained one or two sentences of encouragement or perhaps a short handwritten note from an editor. I have saved every single one of those in a notebook because I know that being a submissions editor is like being a gold miner in a mud hole, and that only the kindest or most moved would make the effort. That notebook is so stuffed now that I can hardly turn the pages. I got another “positive rejection” this week. “The editorial team read your work and found the story lively and engaging. We especially liked that the protagonist wasn’t a typical child.” Now, after that, how can I not take the chance of sending it out again? How can I set my pen down when maybe, no one else in all the world, could write about that one atypical child? I am a writer. I have to write because I can’t figure out how not to write, and I know if I did find a way to stop I would probably just explode. Posted in Art, Encouragement, Misc. Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Art, persistance, rejections, Writing

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