The day after I read the memoir manuscript & announced this site on Facebook, I got a rejection from a well known literary journal for a short story I submitted back in February. The rejection wasn’t a five paragraph treatise on why they almost published the story but didn’t. It was a one line, “We’ll pass” e-mail that made me wonder why I’m toiling away at my desk on a daily basis for that kind of response.
I promptly ate a dozen cookies. Then forwarded the rejection to my husband and mom. Then sulked and made my kids play by themselves while I sat on the couch reading a book. I’ve been rejected plenty before. Getting rejected is a big part of this process. It’s just that this particular “no” felt cruelly timed. I was feeling so good about the book, so elated by all of my supportive friends, and the universe had to go and toss a bucket of cold water on all that hope.
After a day of contemplating, moping, cookies, etc., I realize that in the end, I suppose this is why I do it. Because it’s really, really hard. Because again and again, especially with the memoir, I’m going to have to defend why it’s an important story to tell. My notoriously thin skin just will not cut it in this endeavor. So today I will put away the cookies and remember that all these little disasters will help prepare me when it comes time to really fight for this book, for this story I so deeply believe in.