This Is What I Do

I’ve gotten used to rejection. For the past eight years I’ve made it a habit to always have a story out in the world seeking publication. By January 11th of this year I’d gotten so used to the rejection letters that when I saw the email from Wordriot, I got as worked up as I do over emails offering opportunities to make money while helping Nigerian royalty.

Except the email wasn’t a rejection letter.

There’s a common belief in the singles’ scene (another arena in which I’m experienced with the process of rejection) that states that when you finally give up, when you finally stop trying so hard and acting so desperate, that’s when you get the lover you want.

And this is what happened to me. In the process of turning my Flying Wingman stories into a novel, I was struck again by the stand-alone potential of one of them. In half an hour I surgically removed it from the larger narrative and wrapped it for Wordriot. Instead of agonizing over every detail, I read their submission requirements in less than a minute, made the necessary changes in less than ten and sent the email without a second thought.

I hadn’t given up, but the desperation, the anxiety, had passed. What had once been excruciating had now become normal. Because this is what I do. I write stories. I try to get them published. I know all the industry terms. I know where to put my pen name and where to put my real. I know that a word count for a website is different than a word count for a print journal. This is what I do.

Rejections used to devastate me. In love or in writing, a rejection could ruin my day and turn me to beer and Kung Fu movies. For eight years, my task has been to overcome the depressing blows of rejection. Now I’ve got a new task: I need to get used to success.

I’ll send an email out letting you all know when Wordriot puts the story up. Stay tuned. It took me eight years to score the first. It won’t take me eight to get the next.

Comments 3

  1. eBookGuru wrote:

    Getting used to success is much easier than getting used to rejection. The fact that you stuck with it for eight years though, does speak for your tenacity, and obviously it paid off.

    You may want to consider e-Publishing as an option. On our site I ran a feature on the topic (no longer on the front page – click on ebook articles), and I will be running another shortly.

    Congrats on getting your story out there.


    Posted 17 Jan 2009 at 4:30 pm
  2. Josh wrote:

    Nice job Lee. Now for Playboy!

    Posted 17 Jan 2009 at 5:30 pm
  3. Lindsay wrote:

    “I know that a word count for a website is different than a word count for a print journal.”

    Perhaps you should explain this to me…because I don’t.

    Posted 17 Jan 2009 at 8:00 pm