I just went through an ordeal of having a big rejection lately. I had submitted 3 poems to the Sigma Tau Delta journal, "The Rectangle." I was hoping that at least one of the poems would be good enough to earn a spot in the journal, so I could use that publication as leverage to get into the grad school program I have my heart set on. I got the blessing of one of my professors, Dr. Hallock, who was acting as our advisor for Sigma Tau Delta and praised the poems.
I waited with anxiety mounting every day for the news. Then, it finally came a few weeks ago. I did not get in. The form rejection email stated that they had over 500 submissions. While it was a little reassuring to know that there was so much competition, that thought alone did nothing to assuage the feelings of unworthiness that every writer feels when they get a rejection.
As usual, I moped around about it for a few days. Then, I said to myself: "Maria, stiffen that upper lip, buttercup. You got a rejection? Big deal. You've gotten them before. Stop throwing yourself a goddamn pity party, get writing some new stuff, and submit those poems again somewhere else!" I resubmitted the best one to another poetry journal, which also earned me a rejection, albeit a nicer one. They actually told me my poem was well received by the editors of the journal, but it did not fit with what they wanted to do in their current issue. Hey, as a publisher/editor myself, I can identify with that. Plus, a personal and encouraging "No" is better than a computer-processed form "No" any day of the week. So, I'm going to toughen up once again and resubmit it somewhere else. And on and on it goes.
Keep trying. That's all we can do. I've been writing since I could walk. I'm sure as hell not going to stop now.
I am a writer, and I must write...or die in misery, with all my angst piled over my bones like brittle dead leaves.