When I read this quote my first thought was:
“Whoa…Sylvia Plath must have been manic when she wrote that!”
(Please note: this post was written before the Las Vegas tragedy.)
I know that things could be worse in my life.
Much, much worse.
Those of you familiar with my background know what events I’m referring to, but for those of you who are new to my blog, here’s the backstory:
I’ve been a revolving door hospital patient. I suffered from treatment-resistant bipolar depression for seven years, I’ve been suicidal, and I’ve had two rounds of electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy.
After all that, one would assume a writing rejection is not that big a deal.
This particular rejection really got to me. I thought my submission was good—it wasn’t amazing, but I felt it had merit. Despite the fact my submission focused on a rare mental illness, its content was relevant to readers with mood disorders of different kinds. The essay fit the editors’ specifications I had carefully perused. I had checked with the editors to make sure my topic would be appropriate and I got the go-ahead.
Here’s my rejection email:
You are a horrible writer and geez – you need to do something else, anything else, like take up knitting, or create an herb window garden, or explore vegan cooking.
Thanks so much for your submission to How the Light Gets In. After reading through entries, conferring, reading, and conferring more, we’re sorry to tell you that we won’t be including “The Deja vu Conversation” in the anthology. As writers, we know how much time and effort (not to mention gumption!) it takes to craft and submit a piece. Thank you for trusting us with it. We received an overwhelming amount of beautiful entries.
It was a nice problem to have. But also, it made the process of choosing very difficult. We sincerely appreciate you sharing your work with us. Also, thank you for adding your voice to the larger story of mental illness. It’s encouraging to see that there are many of us speaking up and helping to break the stigma that surrounds mental health. None of us are alone in our battles.
Again, thank you for submitting and all the best as you move forward,
Kelley and Gillian
My take: they should have stopped the email after the first paragraph. The remainder seems saccharine and uses a cliché. I believe a rejection email should be brief and condescension-free unless it has specific feedback for the writer.
Everyone gets rejections – one of J.K. Rowling’s rejection letters said she should join a writing group!
I was especially vulnerable on Rejection Day because I had a cold. I get a nasty bug every October, although this year I was doing all I could to prevent it.
Because of my cold, I wasn’t able to get out with Lucy for our restorative, attitude-adjusting walks that almost always improve my mood.
Recently, I was inspired by my blogging friend Sara Gethin whose hit novel Not Thomas received very challenging criticism in the British daily newspaper The Guardian. While it wasn’t writing rejection per se, negative reviews have much in common with writing rejection.
She took the criticism in stride—she has such a great attitude, one I wish she could bottle and sell to me. Gethin’s situation was unique and I encourage you to read this post, part one, and this post, part two, about her experience being nominated for a fiercely competitive Reader’s Choice contest.
I need to focus on something wonderful instead: the publication of my book on Tuesday! And guess what? My first case of my books arrives TODAY by 6:00 p.m.!!!!
I’m so excited!
I’ll be taking pictures of the books fresh out of the box. I feel like they’re my babies. (I know that’s weird, but it’s true.)
Please don’t forget to tell your friends, your social networks, and everyone else you know on this planet to buy Birth of a New Brain on Tuesday, October 10th. If at all possible, please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I’ll be forever in your debt!
Have a good weekend, and thanks for reading!!!
This collie looks so much like Lucy, it’s uncanny! I’m not getting the costume though. It got bad reviews, and I know Lucy would hate it.
With a foreword by perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw,
will be published on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10th – hurrah!
Until then, Birth of a New Brain is available on Amazon for Kindle and paperback pre-sales.