Okay, so I got rejected.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I submitted my short story to be considered for an anthology, and I also submitted it to a contest (winner to be published in the anthology). I found out this past week that I didn’t win the contest and a few days later got an email stating my story didn’t make the anthology. This is what the editors said:
“Thanks so much for giving us the opportunity to consider… [your story.] It was a tough decision but, unfortunately, we will not be able to include your story in this year’s anthology.
It’s always so hard to say no to pieces that we have particularly enjoyed. Yet, inevitably our space limitations combined with finding just the right “mix” for the anthology force us to pass on many strong submissions.
We wish you good fortune in finding a home for your story and very much hope to see a submission from you again next year.
Now, my first thought when I read this was: Wow, they enjoyed my story! My second thought was: No, it’s just a form letter. I bet they thought it sucked.
Which thought would motivate you to keep writing?
Thought #1? Me, too.
So, I choose to believe the thought: Wow, they enjoyed my story! When I do, I get a feeling of satisfaction and I immediately want to rewrite the story and send it out again. Or, hey, what about my novel? That’s not ready to be submitted yet, but maybe I can work on it this weekend.
But let’s say I went with thought #2. How would you feel if you believed the thought that the editors thought the story sucked? Pretty lousy, huh? What would you feel motivated to do? Lie on the couch and eat ice cream? Yeah, that’s about right.
Whatever thought we have, if we choose to believe it, triggers a feeling. Based on that feeling, we take action. Our result depends on our action, and it usually proves the original thought. So if I believe the thought that the editors think my story sucked, my action is to do nothing constructive with my writing (wallowing doesn’t tend to be very useful) and my result is that my writing doesn’t improve.
Since the editors said they enjoyed reading my story and I have no proof that they didn’t, I’m going to stick with thought #1. That way, the next time I send the (reworked, rewritten, re-edited) story out, I just might get an acceptance letter!
What do you do when you get a rejection letter?
Diane MacKinnon, MD, is currently a full-time mother, part-time life coach. She is a Master Certified Life Coach, trained by Martha Beck, among others. She is passionate about her son, her writing and using her mind to create a wonderful present moment. Find her life coaching blog at http://www.dianemackinnon.com/blog.