I have always had a bit of a tumultuous relationship with (writing) rejection. Of course there’s a sense of failure and the creeping feeling of imposter syndrome, but the thing I really hate is form letters. The sense that there’s an algorithm accepting, reading and rejecting submissions has always bothered me. I know intellectually that it doesn’t really work that way (I don’t think). I assume there are real people going through the slush pile, and my stuff is just not good enough to get through the sieve.
A couple months ago DAW Books opened for unsolicited submissions. I decided to send Elger and the Moon in. I really like that novel and feel like it could be great with a real editor and publishing resources behind it. That a rejection letter did not come back immediately gave me a little hope, as did seeing some random reads on my Kindle reports. Were they looking at it seriously? Did it have a shot?
Alas, the Rejectron 3000 just spat out its form letter and all those feelings of failure, imposter syndrome and being subject to the whims of algorithms come rushing back, no matter how foolish they are.
Writing is lonely and hard, and yet here I am.