This is it: the week I’ve been waiting for. I was expecting to hear the results of the Rehoboth Beach Reads contest tomorrow – and learn whether or not either of my short stories would be published.
I know that writers in general hear “no” far more often than they hear “yes.” But, oh, what hope I had that maybe, just maybe, I’d pull it off.
Instead, yesterday, as I was plugging away working on my novel – in came my very first rejection e-mail. (By the way, nothing kills novel-writing momentum quite like an “I’m sorry, but your writing wasn’t chosen to be published” email!)
The first two times I submitted my writing, hoping that someone liked it enough to publish it, both articles were accepted and published on the minimalist website No Sidebar. I know in some ways, this perhaps makes me an exception to the typical writer.
But those two articles, while I certainly put effort into them, can’t possibly compare to the heart and soul I put into my two short stories. Not to mention, those short stories exemplify the type of writing I ultimately want to do; it’s the type of writing that echos the novel I’m working on.
It’s not easy to push through this, but I still stand by my original sentiment that this was a good and needed experience. It helps to know rejection is common for writers. It helps to have read stories of writers who pushed through and ended up published elsewhere. And it helps to know that one of my submissions was a finalist – not too bad for my first real shot at this!
But I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been struggling hard with my disappointment. Rejection sucks!
Luckily, there’s no shortage of contests and publications for me to submit writing to. And as long as I’m a human being interacting with people in the world, there will be no shortage of ideas, characters and memories to build into a story.
Am I looking forward to putting myself out there and getting rejected again? Not really. Is there a part of me whispering in my ear all the reasons I should doubt myself? Yep. Is there another part of me that’s more motivated than ever? Weirdly, yes.
So I’m just going to keep writing.