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As a writer, I have come to realize that this is a very sadistic thing to do. We pour so much of our lives and all of our hearts into projects that are as precious to us as our children. And yet, no parent would send their babies out into the world to be given almost certain rejection. And not only do we do it once, we keep doing it! We hope that one day, someone sitting before a computer in an office somewhere in the vast publishing machine will love our precious one as much as we do.

Sadistic. Yes. However, it is a necessary sadism. If we did not do this seemingly cruel thing, there is less chance the world will come to love our work as much as we do. Rejection hurts. No question. What we do with that rejection, however, defines us as writers. Are we able to see that the rejection has little to do with our actual work and more to do with the massive slush pile on the poor editor’s desk? Are we able to see that perhaps we did not research fully the agency or publisher we sent it to and could have saved ourselves the rejection in the first place? Are we able to see that what we have written has merit and that we must keep plugging away until the time and place are right?

Each time we set ourselves up as a glutton for punishment, our skin gets a little thicker and our drive a bit stronger. We also polish our work and hone our craft. In short, we grow.


Photo: The Factory at Franklin, Franklin, TN KC Hopkins