A Time for Chocolate

November 18, 2009

Today, my "catching happiness" philosophy is being tested. Today I received a rejection for a personal essay I submitted to a local newspaper two months ago. Today, this piece that I love, that I worked hard on and revised and optimistically sent out into the world came back to me--with a form email telling me "it does not meet our needs at this time."

Sadly, rejection for writers in general, and for me in particular, is nothing new. It's a heartbreaking profession.  My writer friends and I try to encourage each other, try to share any good news we get, and also try to find ways to gauge our "success" in ways other than pieces sold.  I have a file folder full of completed manuscripts to remind myself that I am producing work, whether it sells or not, and that is better than producing nothing at all.  Surprisingly, you can't become a better writer unless you write.  I keep all my rejections in another folder.  (And not because I plan to send anonymous hate mail to the rejecting editors.  Really.)

So how will I soothe my ruffled ego and regain a positive attitude?  Aside from initially questioning why on earth I think I can write anything, I'll remember that this is one piece rejected by one market.  I'll remember that even though I've been writing for a long time, the personal essay format is new to me.  I'm still learning.  Eventually, I'll look at the rejected piece again, maybe revise it and find someplace else to send it.  Because that's what you do when you pursue happiness.  You don't sit around and wait for it to come to you.

But first I think I'll eat some chocolate.

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  1. Chocolate sounds like a great idea. Enjoy it!

  2. I think a piece of chocolate is an excellent idea!

    I also think that turning the "perspective" around helps. You're writing. If you weren't writing you wouldn't have anything to send out. You have no chance to get published or rejected. And you use the rejection as fuel - to fly higher, to try harder, to spur on greater growth.

  3. Hi Kathy,

    Welcome to Blogland! I knew I'd found a blog I could relate to when I saw two subjects dear to my heart: chocolate and writing!

  4. Thanks for reading my little whine of yesterday. I had to make do with a mini Hershey's Krackle for chocolate, but that's OK. Tonight: chocolate chip cookies. I'm making for them for my son. No, really, he's been asking for them...

  5. I think I am the only female in the world who does not like chocolate. Or sweets. I shouldn't be allowed to call myself a girl.

    But, I fully appreciate your love of chocolate and its true medicinal powers in times like this! Hope its healing powers worked.

  6. Hi, Krista:
    How does it feel to be so different?! LOL. What do you find healing, food or otherwise?

  7. ...the piece, no doubt, is excellent, it just ended up in the wrong editor's hands! I recently read the author Vince Flynn sent manuscript to 67 editors (not sure the exact number--it was in the 60s), and they all rejected him. He then self-published and sold out in a week...the editors then paid attention to him! I think Laure says it best...you're writing, and that's really all that matters (mmmmm.....chocolate...it cures everything!!).

  8. Thanks for the encouragement, Kelly. Just 66 more editors to go...