Thursday, January 15, 2009

Moving on...

After the rejection Tuesday, I finished polishing a different short story and sent it out yesterday. The best way I've found to combat the rejection blues is to do something productive, whether it's sending out another submission, revising a chapter, or writing something. It reminds me that while rejection is a part of this crazy writer life, there's so much more to do than wallow in self-pity. As I often say, rejection happens. Accept that your manuscript didn't work in that one market, learn what you can from the rejection, apply it to your writing, and move on.

Sounds so easy and stress-free, right? Well, it usually is. Yesterday I was feeling great about that submission. I think it's a good fit for the place I sent it, I know it's as perfect as I can get it, and for once the letter was a breeze to write.

Then I woke up this morning with one thought: I forgot to write ROMANCE on the envelope.

Right there in the guidelines I had by my side to make sure I did everything necessary, it said to label the envelope as a romance. I read it a couple of times as I packaged up the submission. I've submitted to this place before, so I knew from experience that I had to mark the envelope. Why didn't I do it this time? Beats me. Call it getting distracted (there were four people in the house talking while I was packaging the submission), just spacing it, or whatever you will.

Yes, I feel a little stupid for that one. Yes, I'm a little worried that I'll receive an automatic rejection for not following the guidelines to the letter. But I'm not going to dwell on it. There's nothing I can do about it now. The mailman picked up the unlabeled envelope yesterday. I'll just have to wait and see if failure to write ROMANCE on the envelope is really that big a deal or not. I hope, since all fiction submissions are sent to the same person, that my story will still be read and evaluated on its own merits and not automatically rejected because I forgot to write one word on the envelope.

What was that I said about moving on after a rejection? It applies to moving on after a silly mistake, too. I've learned to double and triple check my submissions in the future. Now, I need to find something constructive to do. That won't be hard. I have other manuscripts to work on, so maybe I'll do a little writing later. I could do a little revision as well, since I have a couple of manuscripts in need of a rewrite.

Everyone have a great week, and remember to double check your submission against the guidelines before putting it in the mail.

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