Not that I am trying to imply that I have been writing or, more correctly submitting my writing, for a long time, but when I first started doing this – back in 2009 – rejections were mostly of the form variety.
I’ve noticed that, in the last year, or so, that something has changed. Rejections have become ‘nicer’, if that is a suitable word for someone telling you thanks but no thanks for your creativity, of course.
Joking aside I actually DO think that rejections can be nice; I’ve never taken one personally, at least not so far, which may be because I also run a couple of publications myself so realise that even if my piece doesn’t suck … sorry but I am not yet able to accept that my writing may actually be good, but will admit that it isn’t bad, from time to time … there are only so many pieces that any one publication can use at any one time.
Anyway – rejections not being form but, rather, tailored to my actual submission seems to becoming more of the norm. I’m not sure if it is because I am submitting to a better class of publication/publisher, or my work is actually worth an individual response but, whatever the reason, there are times when a rejection is nearly – though never actually AS – as good as an acceptance.
Case in point:
“It was well written — with the writing hitting high poetic notes towards the end — there was an especially large number of submissions during this round. Nevertheless, please know that there were several editors who loved your work. In the end we could not agree to include your story in our next issue. We hope you find a home for it. And Soon.”
That response, despite the fact that my work was rejected, is a very positive one – especially the part about the high poetic notes. I firmly believe every word in that rejection response and am grateful for it. I know that my work was read, it hit some of the right chords, some people even liked it … it just didn’t make the cut.
And, you know what? That’s ok.
My writing won’t be suitable for every market out there, or even for every market that I submit too. My stories won’t connect with every reader and, even if they do, it may not be for a positive reason. At the end of the day, though, I have realised that even though I never took a rejection letter – form or otherwise – as personal I’ve moved even further from that mindset.
I don’t even see it as a rejection at all, anymore, just not an acceptance.
And, you know what? That’s ok too.