Rejection, I know it well

Rejection. Rejection. Rejection. Rejection.

The week of my thirty-fifth birthday, my email inbox was starting to look a little depressing. The week prior, I had been turned down for a part-time job. It was a job I was well qualified for. I had the experience, the ability, and the skills. The interviews went well, and I spent several hours researching and preparing for the second interview.

But. I didn’t get the job. I also didn’t receive a clear answer on why I didn’t get the job, either, and that was quite frustrating. I was really disappointed because I had adored the editors I’d interviewed with, and I thought I could do some amazing work in that position. Such is life…

Then, as if the world wanted to show me that things always can feel even worse, I started receiving rejections in the mail.

Five of them. To be exact. Five rejections for stories I had submitted this summer. In one week. Including one on my birthday.

To be fair, I had anticipated rejections. I am not so arrogant as to believe that my dip back into the writing pool will be paved with acceptances and love. I know the truth. I know how this works, and I’ve been down this path before. But, I had forgotten the sting of those rejection slips, even when they come from the most expected venues (I really wasn’t yet ready to be entering competitions with decent compensation; I know this).

For a brief bit, I thought that maybe this was a sign. I thought that this series of rejections was the world’s way of telling me, “Nope. Not gonna happen. You were kidding yourself to think you might be able to reclaim being a writer. Not on our watch.” I thought that maybe I should just accept that I’m trying to squeeze blood from stone. I’m not a writer. I was right to question it. I’m trying to force something that isn’t there…

But, alas, there is a silver lining.

An acceptance letter came last week.

That’s right. A story I submitted to an online magazine has been accepted.

One of my stories will be published online in November.

And it’s kind of ridiculous how something so simple can turn the tides so well. And so quickly. All of that rejection shakes free from my shoulders based on this single instance of acceptance. This isolated moment of someone saying, “Yes. We did like something you wrote,” can make all the difference in the world.

So, my strength is renewed. My spirit is mended. I am not broken.

Bring on the rejections… because I know there are more coming. But I’m ready.

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