I’m okay with rejections of my writing. I have a thick skin (most times), and I’ve received numerous rejections.
It’s wonderful to receive a timely rejection because you can move on. You can trash your story, revamp it, or resubmit it to another publication.
I’ve never trashed a story (I’m too vain for that.) After a rejection, I’ve mostly resubmitted it elsewhere. Looking back, I should have revamped instead of resubmitted.
A couple of years ago I wrote a short story. I wasn’t happy with it, so I let it sit. I pulled it out the other day and revamped it. Totally revamped it. It’s now a horror story instead of a mish-mash of useless words (okay, it wasn’t quite THAT bad!).
I had found the perfect market for that story and spent the last three days rewriting it. I was SO happy with it when finished. It was the perfect submission for this particular publication.
I sent it off today at 4:12 p.m.
I expected to hear back within a couple of months—or more—but at 4:36 I received a reply.
My heart thumped with thankfulness. My head exploded with excitement. My wallet (imaginary, of course) bulged with bills. I had a sale! The publication liked my work so much they had to immediately reply for fear I might sell it elsewhere.
My stomach sank. My ego evaporated. My wallet weakened.
I was stunned beyond belief. Within twenty-four (24!) minutes I’d received a rejection?
This unknown person from this prestigious publication had crushed my ego within thirty minutes. That’s the fastest rejection I’ve ever received for anything!
Who receives a rejection within thirty minutes?
My first thought, of course, was that my story was so horrendously horrible that this individual had to get rid of it immediately. My second thought, which didn’t come to me right away, was perhaps this publication was on the ball.
People today want instant gratification. No one wants to wait.
Sure, it’s great—wonderfully amazing—to receive a timely rejection so one’s work isn’t tied up unnecessarily. That writing is then set free: free to submit elsewhere.
But still. Twenty-four minutes? That’s gotta be a record in anyone’s resume.
Twenty-four minutes? I’m still stunned.