They warned me when I signed up that 90% of the ride would be skinned knees and slammed and doors.

Rejection is never fun, particularly when the piece in question is something close to your heart. And knowing that it was going to happen, or pretending that you knew it was going to happen doesn’t ease the sting.

Still I am always grateful for Asimov’s beautiful rejection letters. This is a magazine with a grace and respect for word-workers the likes of which I have never (in my admittedly short writing career) before encountered.

But yes, rejection is awful. It gets you down, and it should. The only thing I can think of that is worse than moping around all day about a rejection letter, is not doing that. You only really get hurt once you start engaging with the world enough for things to matter to you.

And afterwards maybe you laugh a little, and maybe you only pretend to laugh, but you get over it. Afterwards you haul the black dog off your shoulder and curl up with it and work the tangles out of its fur. After all if you don’t have black dog days of rejection and gnashing of teeth, how will you know how to write them?


The black dog on the shoulder in this post refers to the English idiomatic expression for a bad mood or gloomy manner. For some more interesting British black dogs, have a look at Tom Siddell’s beautiful page: http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=360
 While you are there have a look at his exceptional webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court.


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