Every time I get rejected from a short story, poetry or book contest or anything else having to do with writing, I have to pout.
I start with the thought that I’m a pro at rejection, a skill I learned as an elementary school student not able to fit in socially. I was the awkward geeky girl who stood outside the girl groups, barely fitting in.
My next thought, at least with my latest rejection from a writing contest, was that if I had actually won, I would have had to wonder if there was something wrong with the contest, because, as evidenced by past experiences, I don’t win.
At the same time, I believed I should have won (there weren’t very many entries), because I’ve been told that I’m a good writer and, likewise, believe that I’m a good writer. I write because of that belief and because I have to write.
But why if I’m “a good writer” am I still a collector of rejection slips?
My latest rejection slip I realize had merit because I submitted a book manuscript for “The Fire Painter” before I had finished the revision process. A couple days later, I received a critique form explaining the areas where to strengthen my manuscript, taking out some of the sting.
Following the pouting phase, I had to go through some ego bandaging. I had to get back up and try again at this writing thing.
Though I do wonder:
* Am I crazy spending my free time writing when I could be living?
* Am I crazy thinking I’m a great writer when I have evidence of rejection?
* Am I crazy for pursuing something that is like spinning in a circle of nowhereness when
I could be going forward on something else?
Whether I am or not, I’m writing again.
Hopefully next time, I’ll throw my arms out to welcome rejection as part of the process.