Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Slight Demoralization

Today was oddly difficult to cope with. One of those mornings that starts with a whiff of sour milk and a stubborn joint that wont pop, and then turns ever so comfortably into a downward slope.

Okay, so the day wasn’t that terrible, but I did receive a pretty surprising rejection. I had so much confidence in this story, as it was custom tailored to the anthology I was submitting it too. The story itself also seemed a great deal better than my last few short stories. The description was better, the premise wasn’t a cliché, and people that normally don’t care about my writing were into it.

I got the rejection notice, and realized that it was a slightly personal rejection telling me not to give up, and to contact other editors. I know editors have a lot to work with, but a single sentence about what I did wrong would make my life much easier. I would take a scathing criticism better than a vague and lightly put pat on the back.

I think Harper Lee was right. If I intend to make my mark in this business, I need thicker skin. Losing a few hours of writing trying to analyze a rejection is about as wasteful as watching figure skating and waiting for a fall. In the end, you are still watching flamboyant people prance. In the end, I am still looking at a rejection hardly more personal than a copied and pasted form.


  1. I analyze rejections all the time and for far too long. But, given what you said about your story, I'd say that you shouldn't have expected more detail. It sounds like your story was a good fit and was well-written. So, it probably got close to getting in. The personal rejection also supports that. And, when it's close but still a rejection, often there's no good reason for it. At that point it is subjective, so a more direct review would probably do more harm than good. That's my take on it.

  2. That is a good point. When I went back to the market page, they posted an update on their blog about how close they were to finishing their selections.

    The fact that it took so long, according to what the blog said, was because it made it past the initial judgment phases. I should be a little more encouraged than I was.

    Thank you for helping me put that in perspective.


Web Statistics