A Writer’s Game of Russian Roulette

I got a long awaited rejection email yesterday. Actually, two of them.

Does it bother me? The first one, a little. The second one. Not so much.

Writing articles for magazines taught me that rejection isn’t personal. Editors have a particular idea in mind for their magazine and the piece may or may not fit at that particular time. It’s okay.

One article I wrote and submitted to Highlights back in 2005 was rejected by them. It was a good article, just not for that magazine. Years later, I pulled it back out and resubmitted it to another magazine where it was accepted and published.

Fiction is a bit different in that it’s somewhat a demented game of Russian Roulette. You keep pulling the trigger until something strikes.

Except, instead of one gun with six chambers and a single bullet, you’re playing with multiple guns (submissions) and many more chambers (publishers) and you really don’t know if the gun is loaded or not until you begin. You’re odds increase of getting a shot with a larger number of guns and chambers in play.

In this game, though, getting a shot is a good thing and an empty chamber (rejection) is not. And…no one dies. I did say it was dimented.

Right now, I’m playing with only a few guns and so far have been coming up with empty chambers.

Over the past few months, I’ve been paying attention more to the big time professionals in several fields and I’ve noticed one common theme. They hit a lot of empty chambers. Most have hundreds of rejection letters.

I have like five. It’s kind of strange to feel like I’m a failure because I haven’t received many rejection letters.

Writing is so weird.

So get out those guns and fire away writers. Fire away.

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