I Got My Fifth Rejection!

Wow! I just sent off a story to a magazine that gave me an estimate of six weeks wait, and they replied in three days! Since I’ve been hearing back from these venues so frequently, I’m planning on making this the last time I share each and every rejection on its own. From now on I’ll share every five rejections or so, at which time I’ll make a compilation list. That way you can still read every letter word-for-word, but it doesn’t turn my entire blog into a never ending list of rejection posts. In the meantime, I have so many posts planned that I can’t wait to share with you. I’m particularly proud of my last post, Adventures in Research: Bad Luck Bananas.

But let’s take a look at #5:

Dear Christine,

Thank you very much for letting us see “[TITLE].”  We appreciate your taking the time to send it in for our consideration.  Although it does not suit the needs of the magazine at this time, we wish you luck with placing it elsewhere.


As you can see, this is another form rejection, so not much to comment on here. I’ve sent the story to another venue that’s actually one of my very favorites. I didn’t send it there sooner because I’m doubtful that it fits the tone they’re looking for, but I may as well try it out.

I’ve compiled a binder where I can collect all my rejections, and honestly, I kind of love flipping through it. Maybe this is when I find out that I’m a masochist? But I’m not sure if I view rejection the same way most people do. When I was a teenager, I heard a story about a guy who wanted a job, but instead of making “getting a job” his goal, he made a goal to get “twenty-five rejections.” He figured that eventually, he’d fail at his goal and get a job, hahaha. So every time he got a rejection he celebrated, because he was one step closer to his goal of twenty-five rejections. He got a job before he ever hit it. So he was happy in his “failure,” and then happy in his “success.”

I love that story, because I think reframing our definition of success can make the process itself such a joy. I *feel* more successful and more legitimate as an author now than I ever have, and that feeling rings true when I flip through my binder of rejections. I hope someday I’ll have multiple binders, with pages spilling out, with a treasure trove of contradictory feedback and laughable failures. Maybe even some heartbreaking failures that I can look back on and see how far I’ve come, how much I’ve conquered. Because my idea of success is doing the work. So, right now, I’m doing the work. And I am succeeding.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me.