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Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Wise and Beautiful Editors Who Say NO?
Ok, I admit it, I don't like getting rejection letters when I get them. Who does?
However, I have learned from experience that sometimes NO is actually the best answer.
Did I just say that?
NO is the right answer to my work that I've shed sweat over?
Yes, sometimes NO is the right answer.
Because sometimes even though I think my writing that I've submitted is polished, finished, wonderful, etc. it really isn't. And I can't always see that when I'm excited about it.
After I've gotten over the stinging sadness of rejection that comes no matter how much I steel myself for it, I often go back and read through both the letter and my work. You know what I find?
That often the editor had good reason to say NO. Sad, but true. When I can get distant enough from my work, I can see where I may have submitted it to the wrong market, or that I didn't really convey my thoughts with my words well enough for the editor to see my vision.
There are even moments when editors have said YES, when I reealize later that I wish they had said NO.
In college I had a poem published that had two foul words in it and took a harsh, painful look at the depths of fear. If I had exchanged those two words for others, I think the poem could have had the same hard impact, but with less confusion over my subject matter, and with less fall out from friends and acquaintances. People I knew actually refused to speak to me after that poem was published. And I understood. I had crossed a line. I wished the editor had said NO. I had a few poems published in the school newspaper after that and then I stopped submitting my work for years. I didn't actually know if I wanted to be published without any editorial stopguards.
Editors who say NO can actually save our reputations as writers.
It's something I try to keep in mind when that sting of rejection hits.
What do you think? Do Editors save us from ourselves sometimes? Are they wise when they say NO?