Today was a very special day. I received not one, not two, but THREE rejections in my email inbox. After the initial sensation of having eaten a truckload of sour grapes, I’ve decided to think of these messages as good omens. Things are bound to get better, since they can’t get much worse.
To be honest, I wasn’t devastated. I’m getting used to rejection, and besides, the submissions were for low-cost online contests that set me back only $7 for all three entries.
Rejections #1 and #2 were kindly worded and encouraging:
“The road to publication takes many turns, and we hope you will continue your journey. We wish you the best of luck with your writing, and hope to see your work again.”
But Rejection #3 was sort of odd. The subject of the email was:
After getting my hopes up, I opened the email only to discover that I was NOT one of the lucky 100 finalists. Yes, that’s right, 100. I think they should have come up with a different designation for the chosen ones, other than “Finalists.” Maybe “Semifinalists”?” “Just above average”? Or how about “Most of the Entrants”? Actually, I have no idea how many people entered, but I hope it wasn’t 101.
Being the humble wannabe writer that I am, I decided to check out a few of the lucky entries.
I clicked on a random entry and found that it had been typed in a weird font that was hard to read. Not only that, but the line spacing was such that the lines were smashed together. It wasn’t possible to read it without getting a headache. I clicked on another random entry.
I was met with the same eye-strain inducing font, and the same migraine-triggering line spacing. It must be the website, not the authors, I deduced. I gave a third piece a try and had the identical experience, but this time I noticed things like exceptionally long sentences, a lack of periods between sentences, and even a subject/verb disagreement. In short, the writing had a certain unproofread flair.
I felt a lot better about not being chosen as a “Finalist” for that contest, since it was clear that I hadn’t understood the rules. It was supposed to be a “first draft” contest, I guess.
I brushed off my rejections and turned my attention to my project for the evening, which was to post something for NanoPoblano (my November blog-a-day obsession). I actually had a halfway decent idea for my post tonight. It wasn’t about my rejections. It was about a movie I’d seen yesterday.
I started to type a title for this blog, changed my mind, and deleted it. Immediately, a message from WordPress popped up on my screen :
YOU HAVEN’T WRITTEN ANYTHING YET!
Thanks, WordPress. I needed those words of encouragement, especially today.
Actually, I’m laughing about this whole thing. I’ve developed a thick skin regarding rejection. I know I’m still a novice and have a lot to learn. I still love writing and submitting my work, and I hope I never lose that fire.
So to WordPress, just for tonight, I say this:
YES, I HAVE, AND YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET!