Good Morning, Rejection

I woke up far earlier in the morning and blearily checked my email only to find a rejection from one of my favorite literary magazines. I promptly went back to sleep.

But I forced myself up again. I have the best of intentions to write—and write hard—today. So far so good. I try to trick myself on weekend mornings by going to write at the cafe first. Then, when I get winded, I leave and go to my weekend writing spot to start again. I need these fake-outs to keep myself moving. This morning I was going strong in the far back room of the cafe until a man started polishing his shoes at the table next to me. I didn’t realize shoe polish has such strong fumes.

So I’m here, past noon, hoping for that second wind. I will not let the early-morning rejection get to me. These things don’t matter so much anymore. Shoe polish is far more damaging.


  1. Not MY favorite method of waking up–still, onward and upward and all that. I pretty much given up on the submission process, too much of a crap shoot. Still, have a look at a couple of Canadian fiction markets, sub-Terrain and GRAIN (Google them for addresses). I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, the most important thing is to know your marketplace, don’t waste your postage on a story that doesn’t stand a chance with an editor/publication. But keep heart and keep writing, that’s the main thing. Perseverance, not talent is what wins out in the end.

  2. Oh, I’m sorry. That’s a sucky way to greet the day. But good for you for getting back on that horse! Write away!!

    Easy for me to say. I haven’t submitted a story in years. (essays, yes, but fiction, not)

  3. I think Cliff is completely correct — have heart and perservere and you’ll wake up pretty soon to a nice email or note about your work having found its home. It’s a comfort really, when you think about it, to know that you can make up for a niggling feeling that you are not THAT talented (not you, I mean me) simply by not giving up. Keep writing. And don’t ever forget how much you love writing stories.

  4. Nova, I echo all on the perseverance front. Always good to keep in mind how many good writers were turned back repeatedly, yet kept submitting, and then succeeded.

    But wait, back there a minute … polishing his shoes? In a cafe? In a closed room?

    What an odd thing to do.

    It might even belong in a story with two characters in animated dialogue and one of them highly sensitive to the fumes, who must then contend with a neighbor polishing shoes. Incredulously.

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