This evening I was reading through some blogs that I follow and I came across this one posted on Wishstudio. It is titled "on writing rejection" and was wrote by Christine Mason Miller. This article came at the right time and it is what inspired this blog post.
A few weeks ago, I submitted my very first short story to three different literary journals – three options available to me among hundreds that are listed on the Poets & Writers website. Under their heading “Tools for Writers”, there are databases for writing contests, literary magazines, and small presses. When I took a peek at their listings in December of last year, there were 53 writing contests, 572 literary magazines, and 188 small presses. That’s a lot of places to send my work (and this is only one website), and a lot of different entities that have the power to reject it. I’ve only sent one story to three of them, and so far I’ve been rewarded with two rejections:
“…we cannot find a place for your piece.”
“Unfortunately, the piece is not right for us.”But here’s the deal – rejection is, well, part of the deal. It is an unavoidable, undeniable part of the creative process whenever I dare to send my creations somewhere beyond the walls of my home. As a professional artist for more than fifteen years and a just-beginning-but-happily published writer, I could cover the walls of my studio with all the rejections I’ve received. While I can’t say I am entirely immune to feelings of disappointment – my posture sinks ever so slightly whenever a new “Thanks, but no thanks” pops into my mailbox – I have developed a deep appreciation for the role rejection plays in my creative journeys. I’m not an especially big fan of spiders, but I understand they play an important role in my garden, so I try to let them do what they need to do whenever I spot them. Rejection is kind of like that – I might not really like it, but it comes with the territory. Should I decide to do whatever is necessary to avoid rejection, I would also close the door to opportunities, possibilities, and successes.
If I am being rejected, it means I am showing up, following through, and refusing to smother what I create. It means I am pushing beyond my comfort zone and continuing to do my work even when it is rejected. If I am being rejected, it does not mean I have no talent. It does not mean I won’t get where I want to go. It does not mean I am a failure. It simply means I have more work to do. That’s it.