I got another rejection in the mail today. I know, it’s part of the business. I know, rejections mean I’m putting myself and my work out there. I know, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take–Thanks, Eva Shaw for putting that Wayne Gretzky quote into my head. And, I’m not upset or even hurt. The truth is I didn’t expect to get in. I tell myself that to lessen the sting.
That piece was sent off with a plan. I had optimistically decided that if the piece was rejected I would immediately send that same editor another piece. I’ve got lots of little pieces just chilling, waiting to be adopted, hoping for a forever home. I have a list of places that accept fiction and I decided I would take this rejected piece and send it to the next one on the list and so on and so on. Today, after receiving the rejection slip in the mail–yes, this journal, a respected literary journal, still utilizes the US Postal Service and SASE. I actually had to go out and buy stamps to play this game–I’m questioning everything: my plan, my resolve, my mettle, my ability, my skill, my prowess, my future on the planet…well, you get the picture.
With this rejection in hand, I don’t know if I should send them another piece so quickly. I like the idea of the editors (okay, their assistants) getting to know me and my work, but I worry about being a pest or a joke or a laughingstock. It’s horrible being a writer sometimes. Rejection is par for the course, sure, I get that, but the fear of rejection, wow, that’s one for the therapist. Fear of rejection is its own entity, a creature in the depths of our writer soul that has the power to paralyze. Truly paralyze.
So, for today I’ll just lick my wounds a bit, consider my presence on the planet. Maybe tomorrow, while procrastinating over some other task, I’ll send off another envelope to the editor, well, their assistant.