I recently received a rejection letter for a short story I submitted at the beginning of July. The letter read:
Dear JH Bunting,
We regret that your manuscript does not fit our current editorial needs, but we appreciated the opportunity to consider your work. Thanks very much for submitting.
The Editors of the Magazine that Doesn't Want to Publish Me
This is the nature of this work we do. On the one hand, we get to make up new worlds, and play with our imaginary friends. We experience the joy of creating. Writing is wonderful, isn't it?
On the other hand, we will face rejection upon rejection upon rejection.
Are you ready for that? Is writing worth that for you?
How to Handle Rejection
I have another rejection letter that makes an excellent coaster for my coffee cup. It's made out of card stock. I try to spill as much coffee on it as I can.
A friend on Twitter told me she has a wall in her closet where she pins all her rejection letters. She highlights all the nice things editors say. (Why don't the rejection letters I get say nice things?)
Stephen King did something similar, and in On Writing, he says at fourteen, “The nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and kept on writing.”
Rejection is a red badge of honor. It means you're serious, you're disciplined, and you won't give up. If you haven't been rejected, it probably means you're not passionate enough.
Has your writing been rejected recently? Share your story in the comments.