The Disappointed (Dealing with more rejection…)

Yesterday I read a blog article on Dealing with Disappointment from the Urban Muse, which was being featured on The Writer’s Block Carnival. Although the Urban Muse has it geared towards freelance writing, I could totally understand where she was coming from. She gives a few pointers on dealing with rejection that became quite timely for me, as I received Yet Another Rejection yesterday. (Hmmm…I think I’m gonna have to shorten these things to YAR…they seem so prolific…)

I feel pretty bad about it because it was the first story I’ve ever written and sent out, but, at the same time, I’m glad, too. You see, because it was my first story, I never sat down to come up with a marketing plan for it. I just did research online, thought, “Ooo…here’s a cool place to send it to,” and sent it off to the first couple of places that looked good to me, without any regard for what the market was, or what type of stuff they would publish. Add to that is the fact that the story I wrote is rather hard to pigeonhole and is quite long–7900 words. What genre is it? Slipstream? Magic Realism? Literary? Hard to say. I simply thought, “Eh, it’s Christian.” And sent it off that way.

I’ve come a long way since I finished that story and sent it out. After writing a few more stories, I’m beginning to streamline the process of finding markets for my work. I don’t just pick and choose just a couple of places anymore. I now gather fifteen, maybe twenty or more markets that might take my work. Then, I start winnowing each market down, checking out their stories, seeing if they have samples, figuring out if they would be the right fit for my story. It’s a long process, but once I cut out the chaff, I have a more decent list of markets that I can now work with. My recent stuff have been easy when it comes to categorizing by genre, but harder works, like the story that just came back to me right now, need special care. It means that I have to expand my definition of a story’s genre to figure out what will be the right place to send it, which could be a market I’ve never considered before.

Today, I spent the time I usually eke out for writing Willow to focus on finding markets for my returned story, and this time, doing it right. I feel better about it–I now have a more focused strategy on sending this story out. We’ll see if it works.

So I guess this fits in with the suggestion from the Urban Muse: “Have a plan B” when it comes to dealing with disappointment. I don’t feel bad anymore. In fact, I feel quite hopeful. But hold on. I think I’ll feel better if I do this:


Ah. There. I feel much better.


2 Responses

  1. I’ve recently started using poetry as a form of self-expression. So when I receive a rejection letter/ negative reader feedback, I write poems about it.

    I’m terrible at poetry – it’s not exactly my creative form, but writing it makes me feel better. I feel like I’m channeling the disappointment and anger into something creatively useful.

    Here’s one I wrote yesterday after receiving negative reader comment for one of my articles.


    The words fly
    From fingers to keyboard
    to screen
    Sub-editor says fix this, rewrite that
    And down you go
    Into the reality of what is
    Your story.

    You cut and paste
    Tighten and polish
    until the words flow smoothly
    And once again you fly
    The story ready for publication
    Proud of a job well-done

    Dear writer, I don’t agree with you
    on point A, B and C
    I can live with that, you say.
    Dear writer, I think you suck
    And your words should never
    have made it to print.
    Can’t please everyone, you say
    But deep down you wish
    You could.

    Dear writer, I loved your article
    published on Magazine X
    I’d like to reprint it
    on Magazine Y
    Dear writer
    Would you write a column for us

    The words fly
    from fingers to keyboard
    and you say to the reader
    fly with me

  2. What an awesome poem! That’s so cool! Course, it never hurts to submit it…who knows?

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