Some of you may have seen my previous post about receiving rejections as a writer. In recent days, I have seen what rejection is like on the other side of the fence.
I just became an editorial assistant for the ezine Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. As part of my duties, I have to craft decline notices to certain authors after the editor has chosen to turn down their stories. I give them a short critique expressing what did and didn’t work for our team, summarizing the views of the various editors, editorial assistants, and first readers who have read and commented on the story, and notify them that their work has been declined.
As you can imagine, this is a delicate and rather difficult task. We strive to be as polite, open, honest, and encouraging as possible through the messages we send to writers, letting them know what we liked about their work as well as what we didn’t, in the hopes of giving them a boost and pointing them in the right direction to grow and improve their writing. Even so, as I submit a decline notice, I can feel in the back of my mind the sadness and disappointment I myself have sometimes felt after receiving a rejection in my inbox.
So this is my love letter to all the writers struggling to make their voices heard. I just wanted to write a little note to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories with people like me. It is a privilege to read your words, to get a glimpse of your dreams.
Whether or not your work is accepted by whatever publications to which you submit it, whether or not it is understood and liked by the editors at those publications, take heart. You are doing a brave thing just by trying. Creating something uniquely your own, in an age of passivity and consumption, is an act of courage. Submitting your work to complete strangers is an act of courage. Responding to setbacks and disappointments like rejection with resilience, hard work, and an even greater determination to improve and succeed is an act of courage. It makes me smile to know that there are people like you in the world, out there trying their best.
Thank you so very much for your stories. I wish you the best of luck.