I got an email from an old English professor which said in the “preview” of the notification “Congratulations!!!”
I had entered into a competition which I enter every year, but this year, I tried a new category which involved the genre this English professor taught. This profosser also knew I was submitting my work from the class for the competition.
So, of course, my thoughts ran wild. “What? I won! No way!”
But, when I opened the email, I just got disappointed.
This was an email sent to our whole class, but it was addressed to one specific girl from the class who won the award.
Personally, I think this might not have been the most well thought through email from the professor. Still, it was a nice gesture to the girl who did win at least.
I’m not a stranger to rejection. I’ve submitted to literary contests plenty of times and have lost all of those times. I guess I’m just not an award-winning writer yet.
I admit, I get disappointed every time. I can’t help but feel like I’m just not good enough to be a writer, let alone an author.
Then, I quickly forget about it. It didn’t used to be that way. I used to have self-doubt hover over me for days, but I’ve learned a few things that have made me feel better when I get a rejection.
The truth is often times, whether it be with a literary competition or with an agent, it all depends on timing.
One year, someone may have won the award, and the next, you do. It all depends on what work is in the batch, and there will come a day where your work will be the best in the batch.
One agent may not want to represent you just because your book wasn’t meant for them. It doesn’t mean your book isn’t worth publishing. It could very simply be that the agent doesn’t feel a connection with the book or may feel they’re not the right agent for you.
Your work may not sell simply because the industry has moved their attention to a genre that has nothing to do with your work. Perhaps the literary magazine is aiming for a certain theme or tone that doesn’t match your work.
There are circumstances that you cannot control, and that’s okay. There is a time and place meant for your work, and it’ll come around when it’s time.
I don’t let the fact that I’ve lost overtake my thoughts, anymore, because I know it just wasn’t my time yet. In the mean time, I’ll keep editing and writing and sharing my work with others to ensure my work does end up being the best in the batch.
Besides, I don’t write for literary magazines. I write for myself.