The rejection is a painful gift

Six months ago I finished my best short story ever. This was a story I started a year or so before, then tore it apart and built it back up twice. In the following months I submitted it to two outstanding literary journals, either of which I felt would be a good fit.

Heard back from one of them this week.

This is actually a good rejection--if my story was shit I would've gotten a form letter (trust me, I know well what a form letter rejection looks like). And "try us again in the near future" is a great thing to see. It means I'm getting close(r). So I took the rejection in stride. And I still have the story under consideration with another journal, these things are subjective, blah blah.

Today I looked again at my best short story ever in context of the rejection letter. And the deeper I go, the more right he was...

To call this painful is an understatement: it's gut-wrenching. It makes me want to smash my head against a wall. It makes me hate every successful writer and everyone who says "I bet I could write a book."

It makes me hate E.L. James with the fury of a thousand burning suns. Fucking hack.

true. she's still a hack.

true. she's still a hack.

But all this hate is really about me. It's a reminder that I'm not done, that I still have much to learn, that I still have rejections between me and where I need to be. Where I will be.

Because Terence Fletcher is pure evil, and perhaps factually incorrect. But I get what he's saying.