The Summer of Rejection Slips

It’s been the summer of rejection slips. Yesterday’s got me good. Normally, I’m like Onward! over rejection—not everyone gets me, I don’t fit into some publishers’ plans. It’s cool. But yesterday’s was one I really wanted.

And it was not to be. Shrug. But also pout and eat ice cream. Then sit on porch and consider what I can do to improve my chances for a sale on the next send-out. The answer I usually come to, sometime after a second bowl of ice cream is More of the Same. Keep writing. Keep improving. Keep researching publishers and networking. Keep sending my little stories out into the big rejection-happy world.

Some folks like to joke about sitting a thousand monkeys at a thousand laptops and getting a Shakespearian-caliber from at least one of them. I need to make my own little joke about a thousand monkeys in USPS uniforms, delivering my stories far and wide. Except I want more than luck or persistence.
I want my writing to excite someone. I want to get emails with all-in-caps headers: FUCK, THAT’S GOOD. Getting better as a writer is such stomp to the heart. It’s a slow process, and even when a little streak of improvement become noticeable, all the ways I’m-still-not-better are noticeable too.


Thank the Georgians and Armenians for inventing wine, right.

At least there’s a good side to this slow process nonsense. I’m bound to get excited about a new idea or a quirky run of me-created dialogue or an unexpectedly slick transition, and forget I’m frustrated about improving. And then I’ll send out the results of that dialogue or transition, and either I’ll get a sale or I can begin this process anew.

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