Friday, January 18, 2008

Ramblings of a sort-of author

I received my first rejection letter this week. It came from this publication. I feel pretty good about it actually because it means that (fanfare please....) I have officially entered the domain of a Real Writer. Real Writers receive rejection letters all the time, right? It's the closet writers who dream big but never send their babies out into the word, who never risk rejection, who never lick the stamp on the SASE that will likely come back to them bearing disappointing news.

I think I'll frame the letter. It's printed on a half-sheet of paper. A form letter. It doesn't even have a real signature at the bottom. I get the impression that they send a million of these out a year. In fact, my tiny letter informs me that this publication's submission to acceptance ratio is 100 to one. This makes me feel slightly better about having ventured a bit of hope, having stuck my neck out only to have it...not cut off exactly...perhaps sliced politely with a few paper cuts. It wasn't as bad as I thought. I'm actually looking forward to coming up with something new to send them again. It only took four months of waiting to get a response. I can do this 3 or 4 times a year for the rest of my life and all it will cost me is a bit of postage. Well, and the obscene amount of hours it took to write the essay. But Real Writers enjoy that part.

The other thing that lets me bask momentarily in a Real Writer glow is the fact that several weeks ago, I received an acceptance letter for one of my essays. It came from this publication. I'm looking forward to a modest little paycheck (will I frame it as well or cash it? Decisions, decisions.) It will be my first opportunity to see my name in print in a real, honest-to-goodness national publication. This is a heady thing. I'll try to keep the swelling to a minimum. Perhaps I'll hang the rejection letter next to the check just to keep myself humble.

14 comments:

allysha said...

How exciting! Congratulations, both on the rejection and the acceptance!

Meredith said...

Neat!

My sister just sent me a copy of Brain, Child, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Luisa Perkins said...

Congrats on the Brain, Child acceptance! That's great. And being rejected by The Sun; that's like being accepted almost anywhere else. Good for you for putting yourself out there.

My latest batch of submissions went out the first week of January (11 in all). So far: two rejections, and weeks and weeks to go before I expect to hear from the rest. Real Writers, unite!

TARA said...

I saw make a good color copy of that first check for framing - and then cash that baby!

Kimberly said...

www.lulu.com - They can make rejection letters into toilet paper. The idea appeals to me, even though I haven't taken the risk yet.

Cakes said...

Wow! Great publication! Congratulations. I hate the rejection letters. I've kept a few. Usually the ones with the hand written notes on the bottom. I think those are sweet.

mindyluwho said...

Congratulations. I hope you let us know when you see your name in print so we can ooooh and aaaahh!

Pale Bear said...

I was going to say the exact thing Tara said, including "good color copy" and "cash that baby." Freaky. Must be good advice.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I'm still trying to get past my perfectionistic tendencies and send in my submission letters. Reading this post is encouraging (I would LOVE to get a rejection letter for the very same reason). When will your accepted article be published? I read the article on autism from your link to Brain Child and it was fantastic, so thank you for the link.

Sandra Tayler said...

Congratulations!

The Lazy Organizer said...

Congratulations! That is such wonderful news. I'm so happy you are sending your work out so I don't have to do it for you!

Meg said...

Good Job, Julie! I am reading this book and it makes me think of you: "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott. It's at the library. Or will be, when I finish!

Jenna said...

Been there! Doesn't the acceptance make it all worthwhile, though? Congratulations on that! When you see it published, let us know! And keep crankin', sista!

LaDonnaMobile said...

Congratulations! Be sure to let us know which issue so we can go out and get us a copy when it hits the stands!