Eight months have passed, and I have now had four rejections.
This either means that I am rocking everything and being published everywhere, or perhaps I haven’t put myself out there too often. (Ha! No one will ever know!)
The first one was very cold and perfunctory, and not unexpected. Yes, perhaps I didn’t fully research the “tone” or the “audience” before attempting my first pitch ever, that I assume was terrible.* But that article will find a home eventually, I know. I read it over again last week, and I stand by it; it deserves to be published, but in another publication, I suppose. One day.
The next two were, in theory, for the same article, for which I finally got up the guts to send late at night. I woke up abruptly the next morning, realizing that I had made an error in the title,** and submitted it again with a meant-to-be-funny little note about self-editing and whoopsie! I don’t think they really needed to reject me twice, but they probably really wanted to. Understandable, no problem.
The last one, which I received last night, hurt. I had polished a piece, bounced off a few friends (and my live-in critic, which I’ve never done before), and sent it out to a publication that I was sure would like it. It was, I felt, perfect, and actually guaranteed to be included in their spring issue.
It was a very formal, obviously-sent-to-everyone email, and despite the “after careful consideration” bit, was kind of soul-crushing.
The editor added a short sentence after the stock response, called me by name, and encouraged me to try again. And he took the time (even if it was only 15 seconds) to tell me so. It was completely unnecessary, but a kindness that I really needed.
There’s a quote I’ve always liked about determination. It defines it as “the will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying, ”Here comes number seventy-one!””
Geez, I’ve got a ways to go. So… here comes number five!
* Note to self: go back and read the pitch and learn from it, you idiot.
** Not unlike the editing job I applied for with a resume in which I spelled “newlsetter” correctly, but just missed spelling “newsletter.” I didn’t get the job.