There’s been a lot of talk online lately about rejectomancy. For those who don’t know, rejectomancy is the dark art of turning rejection into motivation and positive reinforcement. It’s a kind of bloody-minded alchemy of will. As Kate Heartfield wrote for the SFWA Facebook page on the subject:
Now I’m a non-fiction editor as well as a fiction writer, and I understand that rejection is the default, as it would be in any other transaction. When a customer walks past a rack of shirts in a store, that is not necessarily an assessment of the store-owner’s abilities. Maybe the customer is looking for pants. Maybe someone else will buy a shirt.
This is a great analogy and the line “rejection is the default” is absolute gold. It’s really worth bearing in mind two things when submitting for publication:
1. There are hundreds of people vying for a handful of spots, so you are much more likely to be rejected than accepted;
2. Rejection doesn’t mean your story is bad – it means your story is not right for that market at that time. You’re selling shirts while that editor is looking for pants.