There is something about rejection that scares most people beyond reason.
Writers, in particular, I think, are especially afraid of rejection. They are so afraid of it that they let the idea of a possible rejection gobble up thousands of possibilities for publication.
I should know, I've sabotaged my own opportunities for publication because of this very fear.
Up until recently, I never would've dreamed of sending in my work to any serious, paying publication. I pretty much stuck with the non-paying, virtually unknown ones that don't even bother with ink and stick with the Internet as their medium. It's good to start small, I thought.
I kept at these smaller publications, because I figured that my writing wasn't quite up to par with the big leagues, and I have no problem saying that it still isn't. But something has changed over the years. The difference these days is that I am sick and tired of the silence. I'm tired of sending my work into the great abyss where it disappears and I never hear from it again, and I can't even say that I sent it anywhere recognizable or memorable.
That is why a little more than three weeks ago, I went in for the big kill. I sent in a piece of mine to The Sun Magazine, knowing fully well that my chances were slim, but wanting to take that big step anyway. I wanted to get things moving and shaking; I wanted to give myself a violent shove into the fast lane.
In what is perhaps a record response time for the overloaded-with-submissions Sun, my SASE arrived in the mail with my rejection letter inside it. Today marks the first rejection letter I've received from a very well-known and respected publication.
Of course, at first, I felt a tiny bit disappointed, but I soon composed myself and thought of the positive in the situation. After all, that was my purpose when I decided to take that big leap in the first place: to stay positive in the face of a negative.
The fact that I am seeing the positive in this negative situation leads me to the realization that I am ready to go places, simply because rejection sounds better to my ears these days than silence. In this case, any news, and not no news, is good news.