In his memoir/instructional book, On Writing,Stephen King discusses the importance of rejection letters. He explained that he hammered a huge nail into his wall, and every time he received a rejection letter, he slid it onto the nail. Eventually the nail filled up. I think he offered this anecdote to show that rejection is just part of the writing process. The falling off the bike and getting back on part of the process. It’s what makes you a better writer. Dan Harmon had a similar piece of advice when asked about writer’s block: Learn to write badly. As writers we want to shake the core of the known universe with our words, but we overlook the fact that we aren’t that great at world shaking in the beginning. We have to learn to be comfortable with sucking in order to get the bad writing out of the way. He claims that the bad writing goes away fairly quickly if we keep at it. All of this to say, that I received my first rejection letter tonight. It was a very nice generic letter indicating a lack of interest in what I’m slinging with this particular story. And that’s okay. I’m not even bummed. Based on King’s advice, I was expecting rejection first and acceptance way down the line. I mean, it would have been better to have the story accepted, but in a way the rejection feels good too, because it means I’ve gotten the first rejection out of the way.
Huzzah! Ever onward!