As any writer knows, there’s nothing quite like starting your day with a nice dose of rejection. Not that we don’t appreciate all the hard working editors toiling into the wee hours of the morning to send that email at 2am so that it’s there to greet us at 6am. And if you’re like me, you hear nothing for a few weeks and then start off your day with several, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
So why do we writers do it? True, it’s all a part of the process of building a thicker skin, of learning to laugh in the face of rejection and keep on writing, but there’s more to it than that. Yes, there’s nothing quite like starting your day with a nice dose of rejection, but there’s also nothing quite like starting your day with an acceptance letter, nothing like opening that email that glitters with shiny happy fairy dust and a, “Yes! We’d love to publish your story!” and a contract attached.
Of course, sometimes those little emails of happiness come a little less often than you’d like. Sometimes, the rejection letters aren’t so polite. And sometimes, you get a series of lovely, personal rejection letters where the editors say they love your story, love your writing, and would love . . . for you to send them something other than the piece you sent them, which they have no plans on ever publishing. Maybe this makes you feel like resorting to other tactics to break the cycle. You probably shouldn’t. (But I wouldn’t blame you if you did.)
To all the other writers out there, I feel your pain. I’ve had days where I’ve been so frustrated that I’ve printed a story out just so my dogs could tear the pages to shreds. Days where I’ve shed tears while lamenting all of the time I wasted on a goal that was obviously never going to happen. And days where I drove to the bank to cash a check I receive for a story with a smile so big I could barely see the road, only to begin the cycle anew. If writing is what makes you happy, never give up. Keep writing, keep submitting, and never lose faith in yourself.