Friday, January 11, 2008

Rejections are good

I just received my first rejection of the year, and I see it as a good sign.

Early in a writing career, a rejection can mean most anything from "it wasn't right for us" to "your work sucks; quit writing and get a paper route."

But later in a career, a rejection is just as likely to mean "you tried something different and it didn't quite work" or "you're submitting beyond your skill level." And both of these are things we should be doing. We should be trying new things--different genres, different POVs, etc.--and we should be submitting to publications beyond our current level of accomplishment.

If we're consistently placing work with non-paying publications, we should be submitting regularly to the penny-a-word markets. If we've broken into the penny-a-word markets, we should be submitting to the nickel-a-word markets, then the dime-a-word markets, then the half-dollar-a-word markets, then the dollar-a-word markets. We should never be complacent with our status.

Me? I'd tried both at once--a story with a type of protagonist I don't usually write about submitted to a publication that represents the top-end of its genre. And my story was rejected.

In this case, the rejection is a good thing.

Even so, a sale would have been better.

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