Recently, I received an email from an editor. He was the editor of a a fairly new literary magazine that shall remain nameless. I had sent them a short story and he wrote to tell me how much he loved my story. In fact, it was one of the best pieces the magazine had received so far, he said. He then told me they would be making their final decisions soon.
Three days later I received a standard "thank-but-no-thanks" rejection email from the magazine.
A long time ago I decided as a writer that I wouldn't let myself get too upset by rejection, and I also wouldn't let myself get too caught up in any praise that might come my way. It made sense to me that if I wasn't going to pay much attention to one then I couldn't place too much importance on the other, either. This practice has stood me in good stead, though it is not always easy to stick to. It is tempting some days to hide under the covers after a stinging rejection, or to start chanting, "I am the greatest" after a good review. But I try to keep my focus on the page, on whatever I am writing. I prefer to pour my energy into my work rather than into trying to figure out how good or bad of a writer I might be. I'll leave that up to others to decide.
Although it seems they're having trouble figuring that one out as well.
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