Rejection is part of writing. You write, edit, submit …. wait …. wait … wait … and then the rejection comes.
Don’t worry about. The only real cost to you is time. No one makes any money from the slush pile – so it’s not like your poem “The Bare Twig in Winter” getting a “It’s not the right fit for us and good luck” form e-mail is going stuff you for a Benjamin or better.
Submission is a business, no more, no less. Slush readers are either idealistic (“I’m contributing to literature!”) or oppressed (MFA students who have to do a tour of duty on the School’s journal) and sometimes both. Trust me, never feel bad about what the idealistic or the oppressed do in regards to literature. If you must feel sorry for someone feel sorry for call-center staff who get to listen to callers swear, then flush, then swear again.
Of course, it’s always OK to feel sorry for yourself.
The rejection of your personal efforts will always sting a little. You are only human. So what I’m going to do is suggest you put the Rejection Faerie on your desktop or in your folder – his cheerful insouciance in the face of rejection will allow you to concentrate on what you do best: Writing and submitting.
There he is, bravely defending you from your many reject-ors. In fact, the Rejection Fairie will also step up and deal with any negative comments tossed your way in any “workshopping”, be it ad-hoc or formal. He is always there. He never sleeps.
Now go write something good, now that the rejection Faerie is there to deal with the rejection.
I don’t know where I got that picture from but whoever put that together back in the day, thanks. That and Jack Daniels has gotten me through a lot.
Stay frosty comrades, I’ll be back when I chew my way through the restraints,