Monday, February 2, 2009

Where's my consolation prize?

Since I have just started the road to publishing, my walls are not yet wallpapered with rejection slips.  That's not to say, though, that I haven't felt my share of rejection.

Just today, in fact, I was completely and totally rejected by my printer.  No, not the "I need 100 copies, glossy" printer.  The "hit the print button on the computer and watch the paper magically spit out" printer.  And now I have a new one.  One that's even better then the old one.  (Hey, this one has a fax, and scanner, and copier all built in!  I'm easily amused with new techn
ology....  You should see me with a new computer!)

Anyone past the age of 16 has been rejected with unrequited love.  Remember high school?  When you didn't think that good looking guy on the football team even knew your name?  And then, the pitter-patter of your heart when — not only did he know your name — he actually spoke to you?  Then you found out he only wanted the answers to the math test and wasn't going to ask you to the prom?  Or was that just me?  Anyway, since I'm much past 16 (not to mention very happily married with an almost 16 year old myself), I obviously got over that.

What about applying for a job, only to find out the company "went in another direction?"  

And then there's rejection in the writing world.  Unlike game-show contestants, authors don't get a consolation prize with their rejections.  (Wouldn't it be nice if they did?  "Here, Nichole, have this new car since we won't be buying your manuscript.")  

But when we really stop and think of the rejections, we can often find some value in them.  Maybe the time isn't right.  Maybe the story really does start on page six.  Maybe another set of eyes will help polish your work.  Maybe the next publisher will offer a better deal.  

So even though my pile of rejection slips is still quite small, I've no doubt that it will grow.  And I plan to learn something from each and every one of them.  (Hey, we can't all be as lucky as my friend Anne Barbour.  She actually won a contest to have her first story published.)  

Of course, I seem to have learned a little something from every rejection — personal and professional.  And I'm so glad I have!


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