Yesterday, I got this letter from the same editor who wanted to take a look at my short story.
Okay, deep breaths, here it goes:
I’ve decided to close my magazine. I’m sorry that I’ve kept your submission for so long.
Wanna know what I did?
I fell on the floor laughing.
Yeah, I should be on my way to a nuthouse by now. My brain had finally broken down under the severe weight of burgeoning academic concerns, writing insecurities and incessant airhead cheerleader chants of “BE POSITIVE! BE POSITIVE!”.
The truth is Tony Robbins has finally succeeded in inoculating my system against this (and damn him for that!), inserting a syringe full of bloody persistence and positive rah-rah cryogenic fluid into my cerebrum that now causes me to act like a non-functioning human being punctuated by sporadic moments when I pump my fists and shout affirmations like a madman.
I should audition to be the next Joker.
The other reason why I’m on my way on becoming a nut is because I just remembered listening to an informative podcast the other day. In it the editor of a famous literary magazine was talking about the fact that besides rejection, writers also have to deal with lots of magazines folding up and their submissions not being published.
The timing was just priceless.
Guys, it’s official.
I’m now a statistic.
Two rejections and one magazine folding up in my belt. Not bad really.
So what if I get knocked down? It’s only the first round.
I didn’t get into this thinking it’ll be all acceptance letters, adoring editors and a contract with a whopping advance. I knew there’ll be guts, blood and sweat involved, knowing I’d probably get fits of manic depression and talk myself over and over again to keep on doing it.
In fact, my mentor warned me it’s a hard road to travel. I’d starved, get a lot of beatings and there were few chances of a great pay-off.
My reply, “When can I start?”
This is all part of the writing journey.
Rejection slips? Bring it on.
I’d rather be receiving rejection slip after rejection slip than hiding behind my desk, still wishing and not doing anything about it. I’d rather slave away writing stories, taking my chances out there falling flat on my face over and over again than sighing and saying, “Someday, I’m going to write that novel.” I’d rather be out there doing things, taking risks, finally going after I want, get moving than just saying, “One day I’ll become a writer.”
There’s no someday or one day, there’s only NOW.
It’s better to take a jab at it, to try than not to get out there at all. It’s even better to do and fail and continue to keep doing it than giving up.
It means you’ve joined the ranks of Dickens, Bradbury, Rowling, King and Shakespeare. They’ve been through this before. They’ve been rejected too, more times than you ever think. You’re now experiencing what they’ve gone through when they’ve just started out.
I’m still at the beginning of my journey and loving every minute of it.
Remember, yes you might fall.
But you can always get up.
You might find the following link useful:
How To Cope with Rejection and Boost your Self-Esteem – my post on how to get yourself out of the slump and get your groove back
Writers and Rejection: Don’t Give Up! – about all the writers who’ve been rejected and who’ve now made it big
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