Almost everyone faces rejection sometimes but I have a collection of rejection letters from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and the 2000’s! With the advent of computer submissions,--recent rejections are deleted faster than my spastic chihuahua runs across my average sized backyard—and that’s fast.
Where’s the melancholic despair that will lead me to write more angst filled poetry? How will I face the reality that other writers might numb away with drugs, caffeine and alcohol and I have drowned in large quantities of cheap chocolate? What happens to my embarrassment—the denial and insecure reminiscing? What about my recollections regarding why I even bothered sending pieces of my heart to editors who didn't appreciate my use of alliteration, metaphor and rhyme?
Should I have a wall of shame plastered with these painful letters or does common sense tell me I should move on and forget all about them? Would you incinerate or shred? Haul the file to the curb and say good-riddance? My inclination leans toward getting rid of them and yet they seem like an important part of my growth as a writer. Every ten years, I find myself holding a pile of these impersonal letters that reflect weakness but inspire me to reach even higher.
Remembering the past might keep us from repeating the same mistakes. This is why learning history is so important. These letters are like an old textbook--reminding me to learn, to reach a little higher and to do things differently, because the future is like a clean slate--full of opportunity.
The young writers of today may never have to face the quivering anticipation of an unopened rejection letter and of course, that is so freaking awesome. On the other hand, what do you think?
Are they missing some painful lessons?