What is a rejection but a little stab in the back? Something to deflate your ego just a little more. I have had my fair share of rejections but it is offset by a few acceptances now and again. But it's funny how one rejection, no matter how kind it is, can make you forget about the previous acceptances. It reminds me a little of relationships and how women never forget the wrongs of the man, no matter how many rights he does afterwards to make up for it.
The thing we have to try and remember about rejections is that it's not that the writing was bad, but that there were far more better ones and when there are only x number of spots available and xxx number of submissions, the odds go down considerably. And there is no magical formula to ensure that yours stands out above the rest. Plus, remember that these are ordinary people sifting through piles and piles of submissions and what one person likes another may not. If you wrote an amazing love story about how you and your significant other met and fell in love and it was one of the most masterfully crafted pieces of work you've ever produced, so good that any editor would be foolish to turn down, but that editor just went through a nasty breakup or divorce, they are not going to look at your work for the craft. Instead, they are more likely to stick their finger down their throat and...well you know the rest.
If I felt qualified to offer advice, the only thing I would say is not to give up hope. To keep trying. Because eventually someone out there will see your masterpiece for what it is.
Another person once told me, that for every rejection you are that much closer to an acceptance. Like crawling across the desert in search of water, only to be fooled by mirage after mirage but eventually, that mirage with not evaporate and you will find yourself face down in a wonderful pool. Wierd analogy but something that just came to me. Aww...the magic of just letting your fingers do the talking.
I just received a letter from a well known Canadian literary magazine that was neither a rejection or an acceptance. It was a nice little note asking me to be patient as the selection committee had far more submissions to go through than expected. Of course as soon as I saw it, my heart sunk to my stomach at first. I tried to read it without skipping ahead to find those familiar words of what a great submission it was but due to the shear volume of quality submissions they could not publish at this time. To my surprise, this particular letter did not contain those words. But I am sure in the next couple of months that one will appear. In the meantime, all I can do is wait and keep submitting to other magazines. Of course now that I am on a poetry kick, that may be the genre I focus on for awhile.
I do have an idea for a story that has been swirling around in my mind for a little while but I have yet to figure out how to start it or even if it should be a story or poem. I may try it from both sides and see what happens. I am leaning towards poetry only because the one line I have is more of a metaphor but a story can use metaphors just as nicely as a poem. Just much more subtly.
Ok, must stop here before my ramblings go off on some other tangent.