Saturday, June 15, 2013


picture by nathangibbs
So, I'm sorry if I've talked about this before, but it's weighing on my mind. I thought about coming up with a clever title for this, but there's not clever about rejection is there? It's just... well, rejection. No clever titles. No glitter to mask it. Just rejection.

It sucks. Let's get that out of the way right away. There's no happy party "Yay I got a rejection!" You do that when you get a yes.

And probably a whole lot of this.
But they're not the end of the world. They really aren't. I've had enough of them to know that they won't brutally murder you like you think. They won't make you go into a deep depression and cry until your eyes fall out. Yes, you'll be sad. You might even get angry and want to tell of the people that rejected you (BAD ADVICE! This will completely cut you off from future submissions to that source).

I got some great advice from a teacher once. She is the head of the MFA program at Southern Illinois  University, Allison Joseph. I took her intro to poetry class as an Undergrad (which I still am) and she really is a great woman. She's a genius and knows what she's talking about. One day we talked about rejections. She told us that when she first got rejections, she gave herself to be sad/angry/whatever else she wanted to feel. As time progressed and she got more rejections, she told us that she gave herself a week, then a day, and then an hour.

The idea here, if you didn't pick up, is that you don't dwell on them. You give yourself a little bit of time to be sad/angry/whatever then you move on. Just because one magazine didn't like your poem/short story/etc doesn't mean a different magazine won't. It doesn't mean it's bad, or that you should scrap it. It means you write. You continue to try new magazines, new poems, new short stories, and you move on. Don't let anyone stop you from writing. You write no matter what others say because in the long run, you aren't writing for others; you're writing for you. You're writing because you love it.

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