i'm a loser

According to the fine website Duotrope, I am now the proud recipient of SIX rejections in as many months. That's not right, though. There are rejections they don't know about, rejections I've been hiding from the glaring eye of Duotrope. They're mine, mine! I don't have to tell anyone about them.


There are rejections, and rejections, though. My New Yorker and Harpers rejections are fond mementos, gentle breezes from the publishing heavens that ruffle the fine feathers of my tail, though not offering to open gates of said heaven.

Then there are the form door-slammers. Slam! Many of them don't have that much energy. Slam. They don't hardly make a breeze, or if they do, it's more like a...wind.

I must say, though, that I like having work out there so I'm willing to risk rejection. I even expect it, especially when so much of the work (though by no means all of it) that I read in print (can't, sadly, say the same for online journals) is superior to my own. That's right--superior.

But readers of this space know I'm not set back by the above naked truth. I'm not giving up. I continue to learn and improve, through practice and study of the work of others, and with the help of my fine writing group and yes, those rejections, too.

And reading the good stuff (Tin House Magazine's fiction, most recently) and the not so g.s. (my recent rejections) reminds me of how much I love this work, this endeavor, this funny little thing I want to do.

It's too late for figure skating, too late to start on the road to being the second female puzzle editor of the New York Times. So, onward this loser goes.


mary said...

Oh baby, 6 rejections??? That's nada. I've got 46 (!) on duotrope...

strugglingwriter said...

That's better than my count: 0. That's 0 attempts and 0 rejections. My problem is I never finish anything!

kf gallagher said...


That reminds me of the Chris Offutt comment about not sending things out, on this blog--but you can do it! You too can gather rejections, and I bet a few acceptances too. What a racket--even the language of it implies complete personal failure. We "submit" and are "rejected" or "accepted", vs. say, college applications, wherein you "apply" and are "admitted" or not. And college admissions are much more about the whole person than one stinkin story is about us. Are you going to join the club?

strugglingwriter said...

I would love to join the club. I just need to get my butt in gear and finish what I start. Soon, I hope.