Thursday, May 10, 2007

Flavors of rejection

(Ultimately, it's all about food.)

Miles bicycled today: 36.5

I tried two new routes, one on the way into work and one on the way back. The second route won for civility, although the ride home took me two hours because of stopping to look at my map and turning the wrong way (especially after I ran out of map). Now I am very tired and very sore and very, very relaxed.

What does this have to do with rejection?

Nothing—but I'm getting there.

Yesterday I received yet another no in the mail, and when I went to log it in my little records document, I realized that the packet had come back in barely over three weeks. Bummer--that's a pretty swift rejection, and it made me think about all the different levels and shadings of rejections that we get (yes, I'm making an assumption here). I know that tend to read things into what little information I can imagine.

  • The quick rejection 1: Barely time to get to the journal or magazine and back.

  • The quick rejection 2: It takes a little longer.

  • The slow rejection: A year goes by.

  • The nice rejection: The rejection includes a handwritten note—and sometimes encouragement.

  • The brusque rejection: Your cover letter is still in the envelope (did the editors read your submission, or just see a name they didn't know and stuff it in the SASE; am I being cynical?).

  • The nonrejection 1: You never hear anything.

  • The nonrejection 2: Your packet comes back in a different envelope with no name and no rejection slip (okay, it's probably a rejection).

  • The nonrejection 3: Your SASE comes back empty.

Now I am pretty certain that this would look entirely different from an editor's perspective. In fact, I bet editors have lists of their own. I'd love to hear about them.

It would also be nice to talk about flavors of acceptance—but mostly that's delicious.

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