On being proud of rejection letters

In 2017 I submitted nine different pieces of writing to 15 publications.

I received six rejections.

I had four pieces published.

The other submissions remain unanswered, floating around in the ether like aimless birds.

And I’m proud of this.

I’m proud because on 19 occasions, from early January until my daughter was born in November, I had the gusto to not only write something, but to subject it to the litany of rejections, or, perhaps worse — silence.

I’m admittedly very bad at sharing my writing. I write something and then hide it away, forgetting it ever existed. But for the few pieces I publish publicly, my family and friends don’t read my work.

And yet editors all over the country have been privy to my writing. Bless their patient hearts.

Among my pieces I had published last year was an op-ed in the Star Tribune, which sparked a fury of comments and conversations about how ridiculous my opinion was.

I’m proud of this.

Another piece was for the Minneapolis Institute of Art chronicling my second date with my now-husband. It wasn’t a failure and it wasn’t really a success.

And I’m proud of this.

My ever-growing collection of rejection letters is a direct paradox to my shrinking writer ego. The more letters I collect, the more I am working.

A bigger failure than receiving an embarrassing rejection is to write something and never try to get it published.

I look at my metaphorical pile of rejections (we live in the time of email, after all) and I want to nurture it.

Reject me. My work will grow.

author | reader | mother | kolinacicero.com/book

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