Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Adventures in Rejection: Finding the Right Fit

I've been on a submitting marathon recently. Without consulting my submissions log, I can't tell you exactly how many poems have gone out or to how many venues, but I can say that the number is significant enough that I shocked myself.

On the one hand, it's easier to submit than ever before, given online tools like e-mail, Submittable, and Duotrope. On the other, it can be more emotionally grueling, since you have to choose from an ever-expanding number of literary journals and have more faith that someone, somewhere will enjoy your work enough to put it in print. As I mentioned before, the worst thing about all of this is that you can receive an onslaught of rejections, which can be soul-crushing.

For many years, I was opposed to the idea of online literary journals, because I felt they were too ephemeral, too fake. But over the last year or so, I've come to see how many passionate people there are in this world who are just waiting for the chance to support writers, emerging or otherwise. So it takes some of the sting out of reading, "We are unable to accept your work at this time," because I'm more aware of the fact that some journals are a good fit for me while others are not.

This is one of the things I have to keep in mind when I receive the battle scar of another rejection. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to keep going, and that would mean that all of my hard work up to this point would be for naught. And we can't have that, can we?


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