Don’t be Like Me If You Can Help It

 NOTE: this was first published on my old blog June 5th, 2016

Back in ’09 I submitted a story to a fancy-pants magazine. I remember how angry and frustrated I was when the story was rejected. I fumed about it for days.

The other day I was looking for another old email and found the rejection, which ended   “I appreciate your interest in {name of magazine} and hope that you will keep me in mind for future submissions.”

The email was actually not a form-letter but a nice little note mentioning some of the peculiarities of what I had written. It was clearly an encouragement to submit more, although I never did. I may never have read it in its entirety till now. Now the venerable old rag, like many a venerable old rag is out of business and I have wasted the opportunity. At another time, I could have been excused on the foolishness of my youth, but I was 31.

I missed out on 9¢ a word, a big audience, and being published in a legendary magazine, all because I couldn’t get passed the “I’m sorry” that began the message. I hear people advise each other to “not take rejection personally,” but I’m not sure that many people are better at it than I am.

So today I will give you no advice except to hope  that we all become a little more rational as we get older.

 

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