The “we love your writing but unfortunately we’re unable to use your work” emails were filling the inbox regularly this week. Ok, none of them actually used the words “we love your writing.” But despite being letters of rejection, in most cases the author attempted to put a positive spin on things.
“We look forward to seeing more of your work!”
“We haven’t found a place for your work, but we know it will find a good home elsewhere.” (Note to editors of Le Petite Zine: I’m not trying to re-home a puppy.)
These all beat one of my first rejection letters:
“I found the dialogue stilted and just was not compelled to turn the pages.” Ouch. That one hurt.
The messy business of rejection is part of the writer’s life. Some days it’s easy to brush off. On other days it requires a foot stomping, ‘f-bomb’ flying hissy fit. But either way, after the initial sting and whether we want to believe it or not, rejection moves us forward.
Still, life would be much easier if I wasn’t compelled to write. Certainly there would be less rejection. More than that, however, I’d cease being an introspective recluse and become the life of the party. I’d see more sunshine and maybe trade my pasty writer’s pallor for a tan. I would sleep in.
No I wouldn’t.
Even before I became addicted to the mad rush of creating a perfectly formed sentence I enjoyed the quiet reflection found in the company of a few good friends (even imaginary ones) over a crazed and crowded party. My lack of a tan is somewhat intentional and that lie in? Impossible. My brain wakes up at 6:00 AM whether I want it to or not. I’m a morning person.
So I might as well write and suffer the consequences. I can’t stop now because one of these days there’s going to be a ‘yes’ in my inbox. And when there is…