May 08, 2012

Adventures in Rejection

Subtitle: Don't make me get my flying monkeys

Rejection is a part of the life of a writer. A big part. I've heard that this gets better as one improves as a writer. This makes sense, right? The better the writing, the more likely it is to be accepted. Win.

But there's a horrible place in between the hell nos of beginning writing and the hell yeses of awesome writing, and I'm stuck in it. This is an especially frustrating place to inhabit, because what it means is that response times go way up--behind the scenes there is an editor who just can't make up his or her mind about my story. So it sits and sits. And I stew and stew, and notice that my story has been out longer than average for the market. And then the rejection comes. Blast!

Lazy damn monkeys

For example, I sent a story to a notoriously slow but awesome market who shall remain nameless sixteen months ago. Even for this molasses-like market this is a long time. Are my hopes up? You bet. Will I be disappointed? Probably.

For another example, last week I sent a story to an anthology with a close date at the end of June. I knew that that likely meant not hearing anything until August when all decisions would be sent. And then, to my surprise, the editor emailed me almost right away to say that he'd enjoyed the story, but no promises. That was sweet and all (who doesn't like to hear their work was enjoyed?) but hopes? up? Ugh.

I heard back on one of my overdue pieces last night. A crisp form letter. Not even the encouraging version hoping to read more of my work. Oh well, I tell myself. The person associated with the magazine (who shall of course remain nameless) recently wrote repugnant things about a political matter, allowing me to not be sad about not appearing in the magazine. Or so I tell myself.

Yet another market owing me a response is frightening me today, because its website seems to be malfunctioning. I hope it hasn't gone to the magazine rack in the sky, and that's why I haven't heard back.

All of which is to say that today it's hard for me to be a writer. But I combatted the long-wait blues by making six more submissions. Fly, my pretties!

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