Now that I’m more diligent about sending pieces out, I’m getting volumes of rejections–several a week in fact. Most don’t say much, but a few say things like, “We enjoyed reading and discussing your work; in fact, it made it to the final tier of the editorial process. Although we are going to have to pass this time around, please don’t let that discourage you.”
Relative to the typical rejection letter, this note is great. But what’s missing is the information I need as a writer. What did my story do or fail to do? How can I make it better? (Okay, I’ll concede that making my work better is my job, but still, I thought I had it worked out or I wouldn’t have sent it–obviously, outside help is needed!)
In fact, I’m getting so many rejections that my tape-rejections-to-the-wall project had to be discontinued because the sheer weight of the paper was making the pile crumble down the wall onto my printer.
I’m full of hope though. I still haven’t heard from 40% of the places I sent the piece–this means my story still has a shot. I’m also learning, again and again, that the editorial review process needs must occur at geological speeds. I’m hearing in late June about stories I sent out in early January. Imagine how many life changes I could make in six to ten months! I could have mastered a new hobby, like knitting, by the time the last rejection for my January submission gets to me.
I remain, yours, undiscouraged. (Furthermore, nine days from now my summer classes will have ended and I will finally take up writing again.)