Tag Archives: Young Writers

Zen and the Art of Rejection

Posted by William Hess, GD reader for 3.2

I am, like many other writers, more intimate with rejection than I am with my own family. I know rejection’s cold sting, its metallic tang, its false adrenaline rush in the moments before reading the slip. Each time my writing is rejected, I recognize these familiar feelings. My family member’s birthdays? Those I fumble.

As a species, we loath rejection—whether at the bar by a potential pseudo-lover or on the job market. But being told that your writing isn’t good enough, or “isn’t right for this issue” hurts so much more than, say, watching your date sneakily slink out the door. Writerly rejection is that much worse because it feels as if it is you—your self—that is being rejected. You work and sweat and bleed and hope, and in the end, it still isn’t enough. Blame for other rejections might be placed on any number of facets, all tangential to you. In matters of literary rejection I, for one, seek solace in my mother’s wisdom: sometimes your best just isn’t good enough. A comparatively jagged pill to swallow than, say, “A+ for effort!” Continue reading

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