Today I received a Short Story Competition Update about a story I submitted about three months ago.
The opening line is often the same regardless of where the letter comes from:
Thank you so much for entering….
So right away I know it’s not a letter of congratulations. I didn’t win. My twisted writer brain is pulled in two different directions.
First,—these guys are absolute idiots! They don’t know what they’re talking about and the story that won is probably some sort of shitty fluff.
and my second thought takes me to the idea of knowing that the story is worthy of recognition and I must find it a home.
A couple of years ago I would’ve been crushed.
Rejection is something every writer must deal with and learn to channel. Click here to read my blog Whaddya Mean I didn’t Win? and here for even more rejection. Ugh…. no matter how experienced you are as a writer the rejection never stops and judgment is always passed.
Get used to it.
I don’t get down anymore. It’s so not worth it. I’m reminded that my work isn’t a perfect fit for all and that’s okay.
It’s really not personal though it can feel that way after you’ve put so much work and emotional collateral into your word baby. It’s like someone calling your kid ugly.
But, as a professional writer you really need to learn to put those knee jerk reactions where they belong–and that’s in File #13 (aka the garbage) along with all the other stuff you don’t need. If you need to mourn the rejection then say a little prayer, cross yourself, and get on with it.
Onwards and upwards.
Remember all it takes is for the right person to read the story and then it’ll soar. I know it’s good I just need to find place for it. One “yes”–that’s all it takes… the search continues.
Back to the letter I received today…
At the end of the first paragraph of this rejection letter it says:
Unfortunately your entry was not one of the four selected for publication on this occasion, though your story was one of the 60 stories long listed in our competition.Debbie T. Editorial Director Mslexia Publication Ltd.
So, the story was “long listed” (60 seems like a huge list) so I’m taking that as a win….even if there were only 61 entries. lol.
Keep writing everyone.
Remember your work will find a home sooner or later. Just keep putting it out there.