Sack o’ Trouble

Every writer can relate to the fact sometimes editors can be vague.  That publishing houses might reject your work for no particular reason.

Hasn’t everyone gotten the 3X5 postcard from a magazine rejecting your submission with those three little words no writer wants to hear:  “Not for us.’

Just that, nothing else.  No explanation, no artfully crafted form letter designed to let you down easy.  Just, “Not for us.”  Like a “Dear John” letter that gives you a paper-cut when you open it.

I used to keep my rejection letters in a big old duffel bag in my closet.  What I didn’t realize was that each morning, as I opened my closet door to put on clothes for my day-job, I would feel that bag of rejection.  I’d look at it and my heart would sink.  Then I went off to work.

It may well be that I kept the bag so I would be able to say to my then-infant son, “Well, at least I tried to break into writing.”  Like an archaeological dig, evidence of a life that almost was.

So not long ago, I got rid of that bag of rejection.  Of course, you still need to keep track of market submissions (so you don’t embarrass yourself by sending the same query to an editor who already sent you one of those anti-love notes) and, for that, you can use a Writer’s Market tracker, or just your own self-styled spreadsheet.

But holding on to the feeling that the bag gave me was holding me back.

What kind of misery-bags are you holding onto?    Isn’t it time for you to let go?

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