You guys. YOU GUYS. I got my very first rejection today! (Well, my first writing-based rejection. I have plenty of experience with never being chosen for dodgeball because I am terrible at, you know, dodging balls. And throwing balls at other people. And activities where I have to wear gym shorts that are two sizes too big.)
My lack of prior rejections has little to do with my talent and everything to do with the fact that I never submit my writing anywhere. It’s not that I’m amazing, it’s that I never give anyone the chance to reject me! This plan worked nicely for many years, but then I realized that if I want others to read my work, I have to be willing to risk rejection.
Which brings us to the email I received today.
Upon clicking into my very first form rejection, I was struck by the following thoughts:
- Hey, I finally have an update for my blog!
- Aw. 😦
This poem is one that I submitted to Babybug back at the beginning of January. It’s a tiny little thing, four simple lines that I tried to imbue with as much whimsy as possible. I also submitted another four-line poem on the same day, but I haven’t heard back about that one, yet. I’m not sure if that means they’re still considering it, or if I should expect another rejection in my inbox later today. Either way, I already have another poem edited and ready to submit, but I think I might wait a bit before doing so. I don’t want to overwhelm the editors, but I’ve been lead to believe that perseverance plays a big role in being published.
When it comes to getting work published, I do have big shoes to fill: my mom had a story published in Spider magazine. I recently asked her about her success, and she said the following.
“Well, I typed my story and put it in an envelope. Then I wrote a letter that said, ‘Hey, I wrote a story. I hope you like it.’ Then I sent it to Spider. I guess they liked it.”
I must say, I’m rather grateful for Babybug’s short response time (less than a month) and that declined submissions don’t turn red in Submittable. (Accepted submissions turn green, so I was not looking forward to seeing a glaring red beacon of failure on my homepage.)
So there you have it! I was rejected, but I’m okay.
I’m sure there are plenty of disappointments that await me in the future, but until then, I’ll just keep writing.