Now, I’m overly fond of self-denigrating humor. It’s my snarky trademark. I figure, if I can make a joke about myself, it prevents dozens of others from making fun of me. And really, I’m happy to provide bits of levity. Everybody needs to laugh more…
So when I recently got a rejection note the day after I sent in a piece, I had to smile wryly. Instead of giving credit to the editors’ impeccable time management skills, I blamed how much my story stunk. My story stinks so bad, they burned rubber to avoid the stench. Now in reality, I am going to hang onto this piece. It didn’t fit the anthology, but it survived a critique session, so I’ll resubmit it to another publisher/editor someday.
But being rejected is a reason to be proud. It means we’re sending things off. It means we’re talking the talk and walking the walk. It means we’re living the life of a writer…
In early January, a writing friend summed up the previous year via a blog post. She tallied up the pieces she had submitted, and noted the successes and the failures. It was way better than the “year in review” shows they do on the television, since this one spurred me into action. Because of Donna Volkenannt, I now keep a writing planner.
When I send off something, I jot down the title, where I submitted it, and a short note to jog my memory. (For example, if it’s a story for the Not Your Mother’s Book series and it’s a cat story and I have several cat stories under consideration, I might note, “when Elmo escaped.”) If the publisher gives a timeline, I jot that down as well, so I know that if I’ve heard nothing at a certain point, I can then inquire as to the status of my submission.
Upon hearing, I note either when it will be published or that it was “rejected,” which means I can tinker—if necessary—and resubmit when another call for submissions comes along.
The use of a planner also allows me to tell, at a glance, if it’s been a while since I sent off something. Too many blank days with no notation means I need to get my rear in gear.
So, when you get your next rejection, rejoice. Celebrate. Being told “no thanks” means you said “yes” to being a writer…and being a writer is definitely cause for revelry…
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Sioux Roslawski is a third grade teacher by day and a freelance writer by night. On the weekends, she rescues dogs for Love a Golden Rescue. Her stories can be found in several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies and several books in the Not Your Mother’s Book series as well as other collections and magazines. When the hot flashes hit (hourly) she uses her rejection letters to fan herself. Her musings can be found at http://siouxspage.blogspot.com/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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