Here’s why I don’t burn bridges…or throw my candy in the sand…or whatever cliché analogy for getting pissed over a rejection or being mad at an editor for rejecting a piece that you may want to insert here…there’s always hope for a story. You may place it elsewhere, an editor may come back later and ask you for it for the very same project or another one down the line…and I’ve done this…quite recently. Or! That editor may recommend it or you to another editor or publisher that’s a better fit. In any case, a rejection is not always the end of the line.
Luckily, I’ve been in the (biz? game?) long enough to pretty much know the ins and outs. Starting out, when I wrote that one story that a classmate or my cousin or someone told me was great and I shopped it around everywhere, not checking the market, not really paying attention to the theme, word count requirements, etc. and was pissed all the way off when it got rejected again and again, I was finally lucky enough to receive a few words from an editor who took the time out to tell me what I was doing wrong.
But more than that, I realized that I shouldn’t have taken it so personally. And I’ve written this blog post before, more than once, but it’s worth repeating.
I’ve received rejection letters that were so informative, warm and helpful that I wanted to frame them. And I’ve received simple “I can’t use it” or the worst of them all, rejection by way of no response. But, I move on. I move on simply because (and just as I approach life stresses), if I let it all get to me, I would be just a shell of who I am. It would eat away at me and I would question everything and probably tuck tail and quit. And I wouldn’t want that for anyone, for any reason.
I really came here to say that a story of mine that wasn’t accepted a while back (so long ago that I forgot I even wrote the story) was just requested to be included in an upcoming anthology. I hadn’t done anything else with the piece because, like I said, I had forgotten all about it, so I happily said yes.
And I know, my breaking of this news went kind of left what with me having just wrapped up my own anthology and really wanting to just say in general (even though over 100 authors took the news awesomely), chin up. This ain’t the end.