On Sunday I received my first official rejection. I submitted my story “The Final Camp of John C. Harris” over a month ago. I had hoped I still wouldn’t hear for a few weeks, since most rejections at this journal seem to be clumped around the one month mark. The longer I waited the more likely my story had made it past the first round of readers and was in an editor’s hand.
33 days later, I am a statistic.
I’ve been a little worried about my reaction, but I feel totally ok. I’m not upset. I aimed high and I didn’t make it. And so? It doesn’t mean I won’t make it in the future. I don’t think it even means this piece of writing was bad (though I do have some plans to rework it). Maybe the reader absolutely hated it, but even if she did– so what? I’m still learning. I’m still growing. I’m not some literary savant; I’m not going to get it right every time. And I am 100% okay with that.
I think this is one place where costuming/theatre is a huge benefit. I deal with rejection ALL THE TIME. For my entire career I’ve dealt with it. Some gigs are harder to lose than others, but so far, it has always worked out. And I comfort myself: it could always be worse. At least I’m not an actor.
As Kyle said with a huge grin on his face: “Hey! You just got your first journal rejection!” And so I have. Glad that step is behind me. Onward and upward.