Denial (After first rejection)
Of course, something is wrong, how on earth, my words didn't hook their hearts and string to their guts? Something must have happened, maybe the attachment didn't open. Maybe this auto-generated rejection mail was meant for someone else, someone with my first name or my second or both. Maybe they got the email wrong. It is definitely not for my priceless, personal, funny, insightful gem of a piece. No, no, no, that can't be.
My mum says I am funny, and they should know, she is always right. She also says, I write well, ever since I made her a Birthday card which read “Hapy Birthday” with one “p.” I was about three years old then and have never stopped getting better.
Anger (After third rejection)
Who are they anyways. Entitled, elitist, temperamental editors. They probably didn't like the first line and didn't have the patience to go further.
Yes, my writing works slowly on the reader. I am an old-world writer and take my time with the setup but so what? Mark my words, these are golden letters that have been rejected. It’s just because I don't use those click bait titles. It wasn't a listicle, that’s why! Perhaps, it wasn't in the current flavor of things.
You know what I think? They didn't get it… Yes, they just didn't get it. They let a masterpiece slip away, right under their nose. They could be the first publisher of my great work.
Their loss entirely…yes, I said it.
Bargaining (After at least seven “not for us” auto-generated rejections)
Maybe if I change the way I write titles and send them again, I may stand a chance. Maybe I was being too funny, I should rein those puns, not rain them. Use adjectives, more sparingly? Maybe I am emotional, too emotional. Maybe I can tweak it a bit and add a little perspective.
It's a good piece, I mean maybe not great but good. Better than a lot of stuff that gets published. What do you think I could do differently? I still think it’s a very fresh perspective.
Depression (After over 10 “don't take this as a bad reflection on your work” rejections)
The sun has stopped shining on my writing desk. I am never going to be a writer. It is all ruined and pointless anyways. Why should I write if nobody appreciates my writing?
Mom also said Santa Claus was real.
Friends only humor me when they say I write well. I should only write status updates. My “likes” there have also reduced. I have no true friends. My art has eluded me. I have no art; I am an imposter. I don't have the talent, the disciple or the courage.
It's the end of the road for me. Adieu pen, paper, ink, typewriter, MacBook Pro.
Acceptance (12 rejections and counting)
Stopped checking the Submittable status. Start being practical. Do other stuff, that allows you to eat, pray, love, and worry about other things. Write because it's fun and because writers are compulsive writers, recognized or not. Maybe it will get published, maybe not. When someone asks, “What if it doesn't?” You say, “Who cares!”