I used to have a poster on my wall with an aggrieved-looking tennis player and something along the lines of, “Winners never quit, quitters never win, but those who never quit and never win are idiots.” I am not yet at “never win”, but two form rejections in one day can be, I admit, rather daunting. (The pieces rejected: The Necromancer Negotiates, and The Body and the Bomb)
However, it is important to look at the positive aspects of this:
- Damn, I have enough pieces on submission that I can get two rejections in one day.
- Although it still stings, rejection is not the setback it used to seem.
- My reaction is has evolved from wanting to treat myself to a nice dinner, to wanting to go exercise.
- Neither of them were rejected quickly. According to Duotrope, NN had been considered longer than average for that market, and BB close to the average. It is *cough* possible *cough* to read too much into these things, of course, but at the very least it’s not a bad sign.
The rejections do, however, make me scratch my head over these two pieces. They’re good pieces, much improved over my work even three months ago. But that’s the third or fourth rejection for The Body and the Bomb, so there are fewer markets left for it, all of them with longer turnaround times. At this point I think the logical next stop would be Fantasy & Science Fiction, but I already have a piece on submission there (A Stab in the Dark). If they like that piece, I want to send them this one. If they don’t, then it may be time to change gears and start sending to mystery-oriented markets: I’d love to have something published in Alfred Hitchcock’s, which I’ve read for years, but they’re a fairly slow postal-only market.
So I think that I might sit on it until I hear back from S&SF, as they are pretty fast with their replies, or maybe send it to Daily Science Fiction, which has so far been similarly quick-like. Revising, however, is not in the cards for this piece: All the advice I’ve received is to keep moving forward, keep writing new pieces and further refining my skills. Once you start polishing, you can polish endlessly and never get anywhere, never grow as a writer. Besides, I don’t know why it was rejected from any of the markets that chose not to say why: there’s no reason to put words in their mouths.
OK, pity break over, time to get back to work. (Well, time to go to bed, actually, but you get the idea)