Monday, July 30, 2012

You're Not Really a Writer Until ...

... you get REJECTED for the first time. 

Well - I got my first real rejection tonight, and by real I mean an actual notification, not the rejection you feel after entering a contest and then not seeing your name in bright lights when the winners are announced (not that that feels any less real emotionally). It's something we all go through, whether you're a writer or not, and as much as I hate to admit it, it stung when I read these words for the first time:

Dear Cate Emond,

Unfortunately, we will not be publishing your poem
The Red Hummingbird That Was a Bug ... The poem has been removed from our system; however, the title will remain on file for your records.

Managing Editor,
Local Poetry Mag

I think it was a nice touch that the word "not" was in bold, to really drive home the message, no?

So, I could take this as a sign that I should never write again like this person:

"That’s why I stopped sending out stories after the first few times."
- Reader comment in response to the comic strip above 

because let's face it, I have many - hundreds, maybe even thousands - more rejections to look forward to in the future if I continue on this path (just tryin' to keep it real), and if this one sucked, I can only imagine how much more it would suck to receive rejection #984... but then I would just end up being that sad person who always talks about what could have been, and there are too many of those in the world. And #985 could end up being a YES, but if I quit I'll never know (inspiration, and all that)!!

So instead, I'm going to print that rejection letter, in all of it's bold glory, frame it and hang it in my office to serve as a reminder ... that that editor clearly has no taste and I'm AWESOME!! ;p

If anyone wants to share their own rejection story in the comments (if anything, just to make me feel less alone, lol) please DO! You'll be in good company.


  1. I have found that my successes are more sweet because of rejections like the one you received. They push you to work harder, be better and find success in places you wouldn't have looked before. I applaud you for not giving up. It is the mark of a truly motivated and successful person.

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words, and my apologies for my (very) late reply!

    It's so tempting to just give up and say "oh well, it's not working out" when something like this happens - something I am definitely guilty of doing in the past. But living a life of regrets would be much worse than receiving a few (many??) rejection slips now and then, I think ;)