Reflections On My First Rejection

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The response to my poetry submissions came surprisingly quickly, late last Monday night, only about a week after I had sent them. I was pretty excited when I saw the email pop up on my laptop, not because I assumed they’d be accepted, though of course I hoped they would, but because they were my first submissions. It was the first time I had sent my work out for someone else to make the publishing decision.

And as you can tell by the title of this post, I was totally rejected.

There was this nagging feeling inside me that wanted to cry, but there was another part of me that just shrugged it off and didn’t let the tears come out because it knew they weren’t really necessary and they weren’t going to fix anything. I had a stronger urge to push onward than to cry about it, so that is exactly what I did when I sent my poems to another journal last week, as well as sending out a short story–because moving on is all I can really do. Continuing to create and write and submit, submit, submit, either until something is accepted or I decide to publish on my own. Obviously I’m all about DIY publishing with my zines, but it’s a different experience to try going the traditional route too, and I can’t help but give it a shot, at least for a bit.

I didn’t cry, and the feeling that I needed to passed in about ten to fifteen minutes anyway. Instead, I jumped right into trying again, and I think that’s just another clue that this is exactly what I want and need: there’s an understanding in my brain and my heart of how this process works and how to approach it; it’s natural, embedded in my DNA.

Writing is exactly what I’m meant to be doing as much and as often as possible.

March 31, 2014
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  • Sounds like you handled it brilliantly! I haven’t gotten the guts yet to venture out into the real world and look into getting my art displayed. It’s funny, the idea of rejection doesn’t bother me – I’m proud of my work, even though I know I have lots to learn, yet I’m still terrified to take that first step. But I’m hoping to conquer it this year!

    • It was kind of weird. I was like, “Why am I not more upset about this?” Hahah

      Whenever you do decide to take that step, I can’t wait to hear about it. I really love what I’ve seen of your art, so I really hope you get it displayed for others to see!

      • Thank you! I’ll definitely keep you posted. Also, I have one portrait to do this week, and then I’m starting yours!

  • well at least you got a rhyme out of it :/

  • You tried and for that I applaud you! Speaking of your writing is there a way to buy all of of your previous zines

    • The first two issues of my perzine are now out of print, so everything listed on my Etsy is everything that is available.

  • Go you for handling the situation so well. Throwing yourself into something, especially something you hold so dear – for whatever reasons, be it sentimental value, vulnerability, just pride in your work, etc. – and then putting it out for the world to see and, in the case of publishers, “judge”, is a terrifying feeling. I think it’s incredibly brave that you sent your work in the first place (I don’t know if I ever could!) and am pulling for you 🙂

  • What a great perspective! It’s so scary to put yourself out there, and I think it’s awesome that you’re not giving up. I can’t wait for the day you get your first YES!

  • Pingback: How I Track Writing Submissions | Sonya Cheney()

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