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Success is a funny thing, we all want it, but to get it we have to fail. From our failures, we learn the lessons that lead to success. We learn what works and what doesn't and that refining process takes us toward the success we all want.
One of the hardes things we deal with as writers is rejection. We know it's part of the business, but it still doesn't help when we get the rejection letter with no hint or clue as to why we were rejected. Every writer has wondered why editors don't tell us why they rejected our story. The answer is simple, they don't have time, but that doesn't help with the feelings of frustration we feel when we get a rejection. We want to know why, why don't they want the story, what was wrong, what do I need to change, etc.
In an interview I did with author C.S. Friedman, we talked about the publishing process and she shared an experience she had when visiting the offices of DAW. DAW has something they call The Wall. It's where they stack manuscripts that come in every day. It stretches the entire length of a large room, and mansucripts are stacked by thousand, floor to ceiling. DAW recieves hundeds of thousand of manuscripts a year. The simple fact is that editors don't have time to give us feedback on why they didn't select our story.
It's just a reality. So, when I submited a story to Marrion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy magazine I was thrilled when my rejection letter contained a handwritten note at the bottom. "I really enjoyed this, but this is more of a horror story than fantasy. Keep writing, you have the ability to write stuff that sells. MZB."
I later sold the story to a small publication that specialized in horror. While moderating Critique Circle I often run across posts where a new writer is afraid to post their work for criticism. They lack faith in themselves, or their skills. They're afraid of making mistakes, or having their mistakes seen. It is important to remember that everyone who knows anything once knew nothing, and while The Sounding wasn't my first story it was my first sale precisely because I'd made a mistake in sending it to the wrong magazine. I learned about genres and something about what editors look for.
There's a saying, you have to learn to walk before you can run. Thinking about watching my nephew take his first steps, I would like to ammend that saying: You have to fall down a lot before you can walk.
So turn of the spell check, turn off the grammar check, throw caution to the wind and write, even if it's terrible. Give yourself permission to fail It's the only way to succeed.