As any and all of my writer friends/readers know, one of the toughest parts about being a writer is rejections. Man, they sting. Even after hundreds of acceptances, the stack of rejections still appears ominously large. And while you might get somewhat inured to the pain, there’ll always be that rejection that knocks you off your feet. One of the toughest for me this year was a story for which I was asked to do a rewrite. It was a literary magazine I’ve greatly admired and I was so thrilled that they liked the story enough to ask me for changes. I worked on those edits for a while, then resubmitted. Six months later, rejection. Crushing. I had to grit my teeth and move on. Having a few acceptances in some other places I’ve wanted to get in for years has fortunately offset much of that pain. But it still stings.
Starting this year, I decided to really focus my submissions on specific magazines. With most of my focus on my novel(s), I’ve really spent a lot of time getting familiar with the magazines I want to get into so that when I do have some time to write new stories, I can kind of have a sense of what they like. That has resulted in a higher ratio of acceptances in magazines I’ve been dreaming of getting into (and I’ll post those when the magazines actually come out). But every time a new wave of rejections comes in, you’ll have to forgive me if I’m busy sewing together the wounds on my heart, ha ha.
I loved this article in which 12 famous writers talk about literary rejections. It includes Asimov, Rowling, and Neil Gaiman. One of my favorites is by Sylvia Plath: “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.”
Check it out!