For the most part I have been pretty lucky when submitting pieces for publication. Out of all of the pieces I have submitted to various outlets I have gotten the rejection twice. The first one really bothered me. I let it affect the way I wrote and it really made me question submitting anything ever again. Looking back, it really was not a huge deal at all and I should have moved on way more quickly than I did. The second one I was actually relieved to receive the rejection. I knew that I did not give them my best work. I was still reeling off of my first rejection and I was so busy editing my piece that I didn’t give them what they wanted. They wanted my thoughts and I gave them a steaming pile of edited gunk.
When you decide to submit to a publication you are greeted with a list of requirements. You are not to submit anything that was previously published on your own blog or another publication. Paying attention to your grammar is a must. You also really need to give them your best. But it needs to be in only 1000 words give or take a couple of hundred. A lot of people think that achieving 1000 words is a challenge. Not for me. And probably not for a lot of writers. I have a lot to say and it doesn’t necessarily fit into 1000 words. Your submission should probably be related in some way to current events too. Oh and the best part. You are probably not going to get paid. Unless you reach one million views in two hours. (Okay the views part is a little over-exaggerated but you get the picture.)
After you submit you wait for what feels like years to get an answer. You check your email a million times with hope and anxiety filled fingers. Sometimes you get that awesome response telling you that they have accepted your piece. Then you get your piece back for certain edits that need to take place. After you finish your piece (again) you wait for publication. When that day comes it is amazing. I love seeing people enjoy my work and any help I can offer to get through this life. I love the “I feel the same way!” or “Thank you for writing this!” comments. With the good comments come bad as well. It’s almost impossible to ignore real-life and internet trolls but you try your hardest. Then you wait to go viral, make lots of money and have publishers beg you to write a book. When that doesn’t happen you chalk it up to getting experience and you move on.
Then there are the times you get the dreaded rejection. Most rejections are written very professionally and they offer advice. They usually make you realize you need to do better. Some are not. The short and sweet ones scare me. It goes a little something like this “We are really not looking for pieces like this. Thank you for your submission.” They might as well say “You suck. Don’t quit your day job. If you decide to try this writing thing again; don’t send us anything.” These make me want to burn my computer and delete everything that I have ever written.
Like I said before, I really am glad that my last piece got rejected. It was for a book about baby loss. A subject that I know well so you would think I could write about it. I thought it would be therapeutic and in a way it was. We were able to choose what we wanted to write about from a list the publisher complied. I chose to write about the first three months after a loss. (Not sure why I even chose that topic.) For me that was too broad. The maximum word count was 1700 and that was nowhere near enough. Another problem was that I am 5 1/2 years out from my loss. It was hard for me to really get those thoughts and feelings right. Not that I don’t have a lot of those same feelings but I am in a much different place than I was five long years ago. So, I procrastinated until I decided that I really needed to just write something. I do regret what I submitted but I don’t regret submitting it. To even be given the opportunity was an honor and I did get some of that old experience.
Even though rejection sucks you need to realize that every writer/blogger gets “the rejection” at some point. I have read some rejection letters that were written to some of the greatest writers ever known. To think if they actually would have quit writing; we would be missing out on some amazing work. Whatever you are doing keep on. Learn from the rejection and keep moving forward. When you are lucky enough to share your stories with the world; you are lucky enough.