Sitting at my keyboard, thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn’t write what I need to write, one word tends to flash red across my closed eyelids: rejection.
What if the words I pour over, the ones I chisel from stone, sweat breaking on my brow—what if those aren’t good enough?
It happens, and thankfully for our purposes, it happens to everyone—including some of the literary world’s most distinguished, ink-spotted names. Every week, we’ll highlight rejections of writers both emerging and super famous. Think of it as your weekly dose of “if they can get past it and keep submitting, I can too.”
Sylvia Plath received this rejection letter from the New Yorker in 1962, only a year before her suicide and three years before the publication of her seminal work, Ariel.
Now if only all editors admitted to “perhaps being dense” when they rejected our work.
Face your fears and get writing. Here’s one upcoming contest to get you going: win a $1,000 prize and publication in Tampa Review for a story between 500 and 5,000 words.