On rejection

So, I wrote a story. I thought it was a really good, clever story. My writing group thought it was a really good, clever story. I was very proud of myself, because I hadn’t written (OK, finished) a short story in a long time.

I submitted it.

I did the research and picked a publication that I thought would be perfect. It fit the genre. It was the right length. It seemed to match the other things they published. So I held my breath and clicked Submit.

They turned it down. Swiftly. And, since I asked for feedback, they kind of tore it apart. My sweet little story, that I thought was so clever.

It stung. A lot.

I went through the stages of rejection. Shock. Anger. Denial. Wine. Anger again. Acceptance.

Then I looked at the story again, and realized maybe–just maybe–they were right. A little. I shared the feedback with a creative friend whose opinion I value. He kind of agreed with them. So I went back to work–editing, rewriting, rethinking–to make the story better. And I went back with a vengeance, because darn it, this clever little story is going to get published.

Sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Take the hit, feel sorry for yourself for a minute. Then get up and get back to work.

Photo by Georg Nietsch on Unsplash

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