As we approach the end of the I find myself remembering my first rejection slips. Yes, there were there were two of them. I’m not sure they arrived on the same day, but I did mail (snail mail) the two articles on the same day. I remember that because I was scared to even send them.
Those were the first two articles I’d ever dared to submit. I’d had lots of ideas and many false starts and finally got it together to get two finished and in the mail.
One, I think, was about camping with children and I don’t remember the other, nor do I have paper files that go back that far – not by a long shot.
One I submitted to Family Circle; the other to Woman’s Day. Both magazines are still going strong and you can still find them at the checkout stand at supermarkets. Both are aimed at families. And both still pay reasonably well.
I was a single mom with small kids at home in those days and so I was writing what I knew.
Both the articles were written and rewritten on a typewriter! (Am I really that old? I guess I am 😉 )
Both were sent flat in an 8 x 11 inch envelope and each had it’s own self-addressed stamped envelope.
Was I ever that young? I remember myself then as lacking in confidence about life in general, not just writing. I almost talked myself out of sending the articles out.
Both were sent on spec in what’s still known as an over-the-transom submission. In other words, I sent the whole article without a query letter. It was, as I recall, incredibly difficult to get the articles actually written in a form that I found acceptable. Query letters were beyond me then.
I don’t know how long it was before those SASE envelopes were came back. Each was thick with what I assumed was my manuscript. That sort of prepared me for the rejection slip that was contained in each.
I remember the sinking feeling as I read those impersonal, pre-printed rejection notices.
I don’t remember how it came I had the courage to post both rejection of them on my bedroom wall, but I did.
Even in my disappointment I knew that I had completed something important. I’d written, I’d rewritten and I’d submitted the articles. It was much later that I learned how many people never get all the way through the process.
That’s my story about my first rejections slips. What’s yours?
You might also want to read: Rejection – The First Step To Successful Freelance Writing
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