“Rejection kills. Disappointment only maims.” One of my favorite lines from The Truth About Cats and Dogs. As much as I like it, I recently came to the conclusion that rejection and disappointment do indeed kill as they are linked to each other. However, I am constantly proving myself wrong on that point.
I’ve gotten two rejections in the past two weeks. It took a moment, but I realized that my heart did not in fact crumble in a million pieces upon that rejection. I guess I lived. Seeing that I lived, I decided to try to find some bright spot in the whole ordeal.
If I am receiving rejections, it means I submitted. I tried. I haven’t been submitting in a long time. It’s very difficult to find outlets that I think would accept my writing. I tend to skip outlets that have overwhelmingly white editorial boards or submissions because, they can deny it all they want, these outlets really aren’t about writing that does not center on their whiteness. I learned this after a rejection from The Magazine on an article I submitted about black geeks. The Magazine actually had an article about its own lack of non-whiteness but still does not include stories that do not focus on whiteness in some kind of way.
Interestingly, I find myself not submitting to outlets specifically for blacks and African Americans for completely different reasons. I look at what these outlets publish and my style of writing never seems to fit. If the writing fits, the types of stories I tell do not seem to fit with the types of stories they publish. I like a lot of the QUILTBAG publications and stories, but I don’t identify as QUILTBAG, so those outlets are closed to me for good reason.
Of course, this leaves me in a bit of submission limbo. Fortunately, I have found a couple of outlets that seem to fit more with my style of writing, but I have to finish writing stories that will fit their submission guidelines. I still hope to tweak a couple of stories I’ve already written and get them ready for submission to other outlets that I feel would give me good exposure. However, I just have to remember that the rejections I’ve gotten so far have not killed me.