I’ve hit a major milestone in my writing…I’ve received five more rejections, and finally got my tenth! And I must say, these last ones led to some special moments. My seven year old, Bubs, was in the room when I got one of them and I thought he might be interested in seeing it. I showed him my “rejection binder” where I print them all out so I can flip through them.
“Wow! That’s a lot of rejections!” he said when he looked at it.
And I said, “It is! I like to look at them when I feel discouraged. It makes me happy.”
“Because it shows how hard I’m working. It’s proof of all the hours I’ve spent writing and being brave enough to send things in.”
Bubs was quiet for a minute, maybe feeling a little bad for me, so I said, “You know, rejections are part of writing.”
“Really?!” He actually asked it like that, as if he were a wide-eyed kid reading a cue-card on PBS.
“Absolutely!” I said. “Failure and rejection are part of any project worth doing. They’re not endings, they’re stepping stones. Every one of them brings you one step closer to your goal.”
I asked him if he wanted to help me print out my latest rejection and put it in my binder for me. He absolutely did. Afterward, he flipped through the pages of my binder as if they were some kind of sacred text, and said, “This is so cool.”
And I agree. It is cool.
So, without further ado, rejections 6-10!
Dear Christine Tyler,
Thank you for submitting “[story]” to [magazine], but we’ve decided not to accept it for publication.
We appreciate your interest in our magazine.
Thank you for submitting [story] to [magazine] for consideration. Unfortunately, we’re going to pass on this one. It just didn’t work for us.
We look forward to reading further submissions from you.
Thank you for submitting [poem] to [magazine]. Unfortunately, we have decided not to accept it for publication.
Dear Christine Tyler,
Thank you for submitting [story] to [magazine]. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, we don’t feel it is a good fit for us and we’re going to have to pass on it at this time.
Thanks again. Best of luck with this.
Thank you for giving me a chance to read [story]. Overall, this story didn’t quite win me over and I’m going to pass on it for [magazine]. But there’s good writing here — I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it and hope that you’ll keep us in mind in the future.
The compliment in rejection #10 meant a lot to me, and you better believe that editor is going at the top of my submission list from now on.
Anyway, thanks for coming on this journey with me, and taking the time to appreciate each and every one of the stepping stones.