Just a brief note that in fact the story I sent out the other day has now earned me my first real rejection. I have adjusted the side counters accordingly. Of course it was a little disappointing – how could it not be? – but I will treasure this moment as an important big step.
It certainly is a bit of a paradoxical experience though. I couldn’t really expect my first short fiction submission ever to get picked up by a great market on its first time out, and a big part of me really didn’t. On the other hand, I had to think it was worthy of publishing or I wouldn’t have sent it out. These two mutually exclusive ideas have been performing a weird and complicated dance in my brain today.
Then there is also the fact that I don’t really know exactly why it was rejected. It “isn’t quite what [they're] looking for right now.”
Is that because they’re looking for quality and it isn’t? Or perhaps it just isn’t a good fit for that particular market. Or maybe it just didn’t appeal to whomever read it. I mean, its not like I like every book every other person has ever liked. I understand of course that when an editor or reader is going through possibly hundreds of stories a week they can’t be expected to offer free critiques of everyone’s work.
So I shall continue stumbling forward. The story has been slightly tweaked and sent out to a new market and I will continue to work up more material to send out and also read, study and practice more, more and more.