I Underestimated the Sting of Rejection

Didn’t I say I’m motivated by rejection?  Well, I am, I think.  But dammit, last night I got rejected for the eighth time in two-and-a-half months, and I wanted to throw my keyboard into the Seine and watch it sink and then spit on the spot where it went down.  I suppose I underestimated the sting of rejection.

So I’ve been busy.  Well, I’ve been mesmerized by the glorious, sunny weather that marks the beginning of Springtime in Paris, and I’ve logged dozens of miles in my Nikes this week.  I could have been writing short stories and submitting them to reputable magazines, too.  I mean, there’s no law that says I can’t bring my Mac to a park bench like all the Frenchies do, although I’m not sure how they get any work done after their second or third bottle of wine.

But fuck.  When District Lit emailed me a rejection letter for “Snakeheads” yesterday, I felt like a gigantic sack of literary merde.  I hadn’t written a new short story in two weeks and still hadn’t finished the last short story I was finishing when I said I was going to finish it.  And my novel?  Ha.

So today is Friday and after I dragged my ass out of bed, after I schlepped my youngest son and his buddy to school in an Uber at 6:30 AM so they could catch a bus and then a train to Geneva for a basketball tournament, and after I walked two miles from their school to my church so I could attend the 8:30 AM Mass where I begged God to let just one journal find my stuff worthy of publication, and after I walked back to my apartment to pay my French-Maid(-Who-Is-Actually-Asian) at 9:30 AM (Are you feeling sorry for me yet?), I gently reminded myself that the world’s most acclaimed authors received gazillions of rejection letters before they hit the Big Time.

And then I packed up my writing shit and went looking for an inspirational place to write in Paris :::::::::: Insert Collective Eyeroll Here ::::::::::

In the past two hours, I brought my revised and rejiggered novel up to a total of 4794 words.  I particularly like the “94,” a mere six words from 4800, because it’s a proverbial cliff hanger.  That means I have to write again tomorrow, a rather exuberant feeling.

Never-mind that my outline calls for this epic tale to clock in at over 100,000 words.  As I tell my teenagers when they are bawling over school projects, “Take little bites, my little friends.”

I don’t have Internet access where I’m sitting, but I’m packing it in for the day and will soon return home, where I do have Internet access (on a good day) and this blog post will magically appear on the Internets.  I’ll also retrieve my email from my apartment, probably even before I pee, because I’m dying to know if I’ve gotten another rejection letter, so I can further celebrate my artistic unworthiness.

Then again, part of me is thinking - well - it would be rather nice about now for just one fiction editor to type the words, “Congratulations.  Your work is awesome.”

This is how I feel when I play the lottery.  I sit on my tickets for weeks after the numbers have been drawn.  Because there’s always the possibility that I won, and why would I want to give that up?  If public restrooms were easy to find in Paris, I’d find one, and then I wouldn’t have to check my email until, like, dinnertime.

Alas, if you’re seeing this blog post, I’m surfing the Internet, and I’ve checked my email, and I’m still an unpublished writer.  Have a great weekend, Blog Stalkers!


  1. Hey, your title caught my eye as I can totally relate. Written about the same number of words on my novel too! Exploring France is too tempting :) My procrastination of choice is blogging about writing at http://www.papershuffling.blogspot.com and about living in France at http://www.kiwissayoui.blogspot.com


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