I received a rejection for one of my short stories, “Just Visiting”. I wasn’t surprised by the rejection because I wasn’t thrilled with the story when I sent it. I was, though, surprised that I got feedback for it. Most places don’t have time to give feedback.
Most of the feedback was pretty critical and that sort of thing always stings. Even though I didn’t think the story was that great either, it still stings to have someone else say so. Rejection isn’t supposed to be taken personally when it comes to writing, but I’m human and sometimes I take it as such. My mindset wasn’t in the best place when I got that email.
I was already feeling questionable about the work I’d been doing on my NaNo project. The rejection for “Just Visiting” was a direct blow to the ego, particularly with the criticisms. Those two things combined with reading a book of short stories that I really like and think are good led me to question if I wasn’t wasting my time with this whole writing business.
However, there was one glimmer of hope for me. Included in the critique was one line of praise that really struck me. I was told the story had some good descriptive lines. When I first read the email, I wanted to respond and ask which ones because I feel like that is my weakest area as a writer. That one bit of positive feedback kept me hanging on and kept me from trashing the story all together.
After a few days of contemplation, letting the whole thing simmer on the back burner of my brain, I’ve now got a plan of how I can revise “Just Visiting” into what will hopefully be a better story.
I think my ego will appreciate the effort the next time I send it out.