Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Battle Scars

"You need to see rejection as bad-ass Viking Warrior battle scars, as a road map of pain that makes you stronger, faster, smarter, and stranger."

Let's meditate on the above quote for a moment, shall we?  Cleansing breath in....and exhale.

The US retirement age used to be 65, maybe it still is.  This factoid is only relevant because Submittable is showing that I have been declined 65 times.  Rejected.  Slapped down.  Six-five.

Of course, I have been declined outside of Submittable many additional times, so the true number, like a lady's age, will remain indefinite.  However, I am confident that, since my writing career began lurching along during the dreaded paper SASE era of the 1900s, I am well into triple digits.  Easy.

So, why am I posting all of this negativism?  Dunno.

Maybe I have hit a dry patch, and all I am getting is "Thanks, but..."  Maybe the few acceptances make the rejections that much harder to swallow.

And rejections seem so capricious sometimes.  Indeed, the same piece that was rejected with "this isn't really a story" was happily accepted by a university MFA publication.  Seriously?

So to end this pity party on a high note, let's turn once more to Saint Chuck's words of wisdom...

Writers who have never 
experienced rejection are no 
different than children who get 
awards for everything they do:
 they have already found themselves
tap-dancing at the top of  the 
“I’m-So-Special” mountain, 
never having to climb through
snow and karate chop 
leopards to get there.

Now I feel better.  If you're busy karate chopping leopards, keep going.  I will too.

~ Mick, S.D.G.

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