I don’t know how it came up, but somehow, I was talking about the short story challenge with a bookish friend of mine, and I wound up mentioning a rejection had come in. I’m tallying up a fine collection of the things. (I’m getting really close to that next Writer-Scout badge.) Getting a rejection isn’t all that uncommon, but tell someone who’s never been down in the trenches with us, and you’re guaranteed to get waaaay more sympathy than you deserve. It’s a little bit like admitting you got a paper cut to a three year old.
This is not the same friend who tells me at great length how she couldn’t stand to be rejected (so she doesn’t write, at all).
It’s a relatively sane, reader-type friend (maybe a closet writer, even) who knows that rejections are par for the course.
She didn’t tell me to give up and sell insurance.
Nope. She launched into a recitation of all the great writers who were rejected, and how many times they were rejected… and well… you know the drill. Keep going.
Except… if you want to believe the numbers in various writers’ magazines… (and I do. Of course, I do… With a truckload of salt.) I’ve reached the point where most of those numbers are lower than mine. It’s another one of those unexpected milestones. At what point does it stop being reassuring that M*A*S*H was rejected twenty-three times or JK Rowling was rejected thirty two? (No, those aren’t numbers I bothered to fact-check. My imagination is just fine, thank you.) Fifty? A hundred?
And what, exactly, are we counting in that number? (Do I get a separate Writer Scout badge for short stories?)
It’s too bad I bought that cost-effective printer. What I really want to do is get a print out of my novel at a full-service print shop. They’re always encouraging. (Expensive, but encouraging.)
I might do that, anyway. It’s good for my ego.