This last couple of weeks I’ve tried resubmitting to a couple of publications that have published me before. I mean, they obviously liked my work, right? Should be a doddle.
You can probably see where this is going. They both said no. I found this peculiar at first, but actually, this backwards situation has helped me learn a few essential things about the whole rejection scenario we all dread.
When you’re rejected it doesn’t mean you can’t write. It doesn’t mean no one will publish that piece. Sometimes, when a publisher says that your work ‘isn’t right for them’ or ‘isn’t what they’re looking for right now’, that is purely and simply what they mean. So don’t give up. Don’t even feel discouraged. Just send it somewhere else. Who knows, it might be a better fit this time. And always remember that when you’re rejected, it’s not a rejection of you as an author! The same people might love your next story.
The other thing I learned was not to be dismissive of my publishing successes. As soon as I get accepted anywhere I tend to just assume they must take almost anything! That’s not true! In fact, being rejected somewhere that you were previously accepted actually validates your previous work.
I do hope my experiences with rejection will help you feel better the next time you are rejected. Sorry if that sounds pessimistic. But let’s face it, if you’re a writer putting yourself out there, you’re going to be rejected. A lot. Even if you’re an experienced short story writer. Even if you’ve previously been accepted by that particular publisher. But you know what? I wouldn’t want that to change. Being mostly rejected makes the times when you’re accepted so much more special. You’ve beaten the odds.