I received my first pro-market rejection yesterday. There was a weirdness to the moment that I wasn’t expecting. I get, on a totally logical level, that the publishing game is one of persistence. Persistence in attempts, persistence in attitude, and persistence in, probably more than anything, writing. I’d had this sparkly feeling of possibility since sending the story out, and that feeling didn’t really go away after getting the rejection. The story we tell about publishing is that it takes a long time, and there has always seemed to me to be a certain appreciation for the struggle in the way people talk about publishing (and rejection), as though the rejections are just as much a part of being a published author as the acceptances. The longer you’ve suffered under the increasing weight of your (digital, probably) rejection letters, the more you belong to this club, this cabal of writers. And it felt cool to take my first step into that world, to get my letter of invitation to the group of people putting themselves out there and taking the risks. It was neat.
I thought about the feedback for a little while (it was vague and pretty rubber stamp-y), decided there wasn’t much to be done about it, and sent the story back out. Rejection #2, I’m coming for you.