We talk about rejection a lot as writers. Rejection letters or emails are meant to be a staple of a writer’s development. We wear them like scars, brandish them as evidence that we’ve developed thick skins and are brave enough to just keep sending writing out there. Stephen King in On Writing talks about collecting rejection slips and spiking them on a nail on his wall. But acceptance letters are rarer, much less talked about. We hold them close to our chest. Do we feel like it’s ego or bragging to talk about them, place more importance on them?
I was conscious of that last night after posting exciting news of an acceptance of Facebook and secretly relishing every ‘like’ as a sign of people supporting me, but at the same time wondering if others were watching that status and thinking what a vain braggart I am.
But I feel like focussing on the rare acceptance letters and emails is better than collecting rejections as if you’re taking bullets. For one, with email and various submission systems, it’s easy to lose rejections. Some people don’t even reply to your submissions, but acceptances, especially from some journals need to be remembered, especially when it’s between a long time since you received one.
I printed a few out last night, am going to blu-tack them to my wall beside my desk and look at them whenever I doubt myself or one of those rejection letters come in.