Posts tagged with "rejection" - Faerye Net 2011-03-04T22:29:41+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Find n 2011-03-04T22:29:41+00:00 2011-03-04T23:50:44+00:00 <p>Here&#8217;s one of those things that I can&#8217;t believe I&#8217;ve never blogged about before (though I hinted about it when I chronicled <a href="" target="links">my first rejection letter</a> in 2004). Writing folks who know me in real life have probably heard me say this, but I want it up here, for two reasons. One, so I can drop a link when I refer to it in future; two, in case this way of thinking about rejections helps someone as it helped me.</p> <p>When I started sending out stories, I knew I would be hearing a lot of &#8220;NO.&#8221; We all know that. We all find some way to deal with it: this is mine.</p> <p><strong>There is a finite, unknown number <em>n</em> of noes between you and yes. The only way to determine <em>n</em> is experimentally.</strong></p> <p>That may actually make me sound a lot more logical than I usually feel, but it helped me. It helped me take those thin, thin envelopes out of the mailbox and open them and keep sending stories out, in the dark days before <a href=""><em>n</em> made itself known</a>. A friend of a friend is reported to open responses from poetry journals exclaiming, &#8220;Aha! The rejection slips I sent away for have arrived!&#8221; but this, while cheerful, is not sufficiently optimistic for my worldview.</p> <p>The truth is, every rejection is a sort of accomplishment, provided you&#8217;re improving your work and trying your best. Without throwing yourself in the way of rejection, you&#8217;re never going to stumble into acceptance. There are ways you can learn to improve your writing, which will probably make <em>n</em> smaller. There are ways &#8212; not researching markets, scattershot submissions, not revising and not being honest about your work &#8212; to make <em>n</em> almost certainly larger. But there&#8217;s only one way to determine the value of <em>n</em>. There is no equation, only experiment. You have to do it the hard way. Send out more stories. Count your losses. Send out more stories.</p> <p>It&#8217;s true for stories, for academic articles, for grad school applications. Every rejection is one fewer between you and acceptance. Get out there and find <em>n</em>.</p> Rejection letters: the saga continues 2007-07-27T16:47:33+00:00 2008-06-08T11:41:22+00:00 <p>Got another <a href="" target="links">rejection letter</a> today. While it can&#8217;t compare with my latest rejection letter &mdash; my first ever <em>personal</em> rejection, and rather nice at that &mdash; it does have its charms. There are slight scribbles of personalization on the form letter, viz. &#8220;it didn&#8217;t hook me fast enough&#8221; underlined in the list of possible offenses, and &#8220;Do try again. Thanks!&#8221; scrawled at the bottom.</p> <p>Of course, the offense indicated is somewhat humiliating, as it may mean that the editor didn&#8217;t finish my story. <em><span class="caps">CRINGE</span>!</em> On the other hand, I can&#8217;t imagine that the chap scrawls &#8220;Try again, thanks&#8221; at the bottom of every one, so there must have been something he liked about it, so maybe he did read all of it! On the other hand, it might just have been my spelling and grammar in the few paragraphs he did read. On yet a third hand, the form letter text indicates he feels bad for using a form, so perhaps he feels so guilty that he scrawls the phrase at the bottom of each as penance! So much to analyze and consider.</p> <p>And then there&#8217;s the question of whether this is &#8216;form&#8217; or &#8216;other&#8217; when reporting the response type and time to the fabulous <a href="" target="links">duotrope</a>. So much to ponder.</p> Are you ready to be rejecteeeeeeeeeed? 2006-02-23T13:38:09+00:00 2008-06-08T15:13:25+00:00 <p>It&#8217;s my last week before my first application to grad school is due. I have two essays still to write, and my manuscript (writing sample) is making the rounds of my immediate family, gathering comments. I should really stop reading things like message forums full of other <span class="caps">MFA</span> applicants/students.</p> <p>Things I&#8217;m worried about:</p> <p><b>1.</b> Most people are already worrying about whether they got in. Is this just because I&#8217;m applying low-residency and they&#8217;re not, so they have different deadlines? Or do all <em>serious</em> applicants beat the deadline by two to three weeks? Is my application, screeching in a day before the deadline, going to be viewed with disdain? </p><p><b>2.</b> I have never attended a workshop or seminar on writing outside of undergrad. Will my lack of an academic career post-UG brand me as a dilettante?</p> <p><b>3. </b> People talk about reader&#8217;s fatigue, and not wanting to make the readers cross by sending them <span class="caps">TWO</span> stories which total up to one page over the page limit. What? I am sending two short stories <span class="caps">AND</span> two very short stories. It says &#8216;25 pages&#8217;, and I took that seriously! &#8216;Reader&#8217;s fatigue&#8217;? Damn! </p><p><b>4. </b> I have to write a personal essay that answers about five questions. Is this supposed to be narrative, cohesive, amusing? Will they find my personality charming if I infuse it, or do they want some sort of formal artistic screed? How the heck am I supposed to divine their intentions?</p> <p><b>5.</b> I have to write a critical essay, about anything I&#8217;ve ever read, but which has to address issues of being a writer, my own writing, writing craft, et cetera. So not only do I have to narrow the field from &#8216;everything I&#8217;ve ever read&#8217;, but I have to decide whose writing I should analyze in order to say something about <span class="caps">MINE</span>.</p> <p>I have read these message boards, and I have looked up other information online, but at the end of the day, I feel like an outsider. There are intangibles at work here, unwritten rules of academia, and I guess I have no choice but to ignore them. I&#8217;ll follow the directions, do my best, and then hope and pray.</p><p>At least I seem to have a better grade-point than the average forum-poster&#8230;.</p> My very first rejection letter 2004-05-20T14:39:26+00:00 2009-12-15T23:25:47+00:00 <p>I got a rejection letter the other day. It was my first. I&#8217;ve never actually just sent in a manuscript to a magazine before &#8211; I&#8217;ve entered contests, but never just submitted a story &#8211; and also, the contests were online. This was a honest-to-goodness rejection letter, in my very own self-addressed stamped envelope. So it was a landmark for me, in a way.</p><p>Of course I&#8217;m sorry I didn&#8217;t get published on my first try, but at the same time it makes me feel good that I&#8217;m trying. Every rejection letter I get is a reminder that I&#8217;m pursuing my dream. Every rejection letter I get will be another step towards publication. Every rejection letter reminds me to keep writing. After all, I can&#8217;t dream that each day&#8217;s post will bring the golden ticket if I don&#8217;t have manuscripts out&#8230;.</p>