There’s nothing like hitting send on a submission email, or mailing a thick envelope with the dreaded SASE, to launch my stomach into paroxysms of angst. I hate rejection, even if it’s couched in positive language. I know other writers who have gotten nothing back or just bare-boned form letters, whereas I have gotten personal letters (in addition to the rubber stamp.) These typically include words of praise followed by a reason why the agent/editor/publication is not currently interested in a particular piece. I am often invited to resubmit with something else that fits x,y, or z theme. That’s all fine and good, but it’s still rejection. I’m just recently warming up to the notion of writing to someone else’s theme by culling the various markets for upcoming anthologies and the like.
A friend recently gave a sermon (yeah, you read it right, s-e-r-m-o-n) where he talked about how to get what you want and how he, as a lawyer, goes about doing this and how we mere mortals can go about learning from lawyers. One of the ‘take-aways’ from that talk was about being tenacious. Every once in a while, I engage in a bit of hubrus and look up famous authors who have been rejected. It makes me feel good to see well-recognized and iconic figures who stuck to their guns and continued to submit their work even after dozens of rejections. King, Grisham, Nabokov, Rowling, Herbert, Cummings, Proust, are just some that crop up on a quick search. Do I seriously think I’m in the same ranks of those listed? Well, no. I did say it was hubrus, didn’t I? But, I don’t have to be King or Grisham to get published.
I just need to be tenacious. And maybe a bit bodacious, to.