That’s Going to Leave a Mark

I believe Garth Brooks may have said it best in his song, “Papa Loved Mama”, when he sang, “It was bound to happen and one night it did.”  Except it didn’t happen at night.  It happened on a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon.  One that just happened to follow two days of weird spring snow.  If I have never suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder previously, I sure felt like I did at this point.  It felt as if spring was never going to arrive.  So, I was feeling low and emotionally vulnerable anyway.  Exactly the opposite of what you hope to be experiencing the day you receive IT.

Your very first rejection letter.

To be honest, I was kind of expecting it.  I mean, the idea of have your first two stories accepted for publication back to back is a little too much to hope for.  I also knew that the competition for this particular anthology was quite steep.

However, actually receiving the letter was kick in the proverbial gut no matter how much I expected it.  Nothing can shake your self-confidence that actually being informed, to your face, that this time your best just wasn’t good enough.  I’ve been told that you have to have a thick skin to survive in this business and now I know how thick my skin is, which is not very.  Not yet.

But it will get thicker.  Like soft, unworked hands that suddenly undertake days of manual labor, my “skin” will blister, peel and then callous over, leaving it less vulnerable to the inevitable unpleasantries I will encounter in this new world of which I have chosen to be a part.  And, the next one will hurt a little less.  And the next one, even less.  And so on…

I have spent the weekend licking my wounds and feeling sorry for myself.  I can continue on this path because, let’s just be honest, it’s a lot easier to sit around pouting than to face that blinking cursor and create something out of nothing yet again.  Or I can dust myself off and hope this experience will make me a better writer and a more humble person.

I think I will chose the latter.  Or maybe not just yet.  Perhaps a coin toss is in order?

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