First Writing Rejection Letter

Received My First Writing Rejection Ltt

Well, the inevitable came quick and to be honest I wasn’t not expecting it, but to anyone in the know, I received my first writing rejection letter ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Not that this really upset me. To be honest, I have never been much interested in getting published. It’s bad to say but I kinda hate the modern publishing industry with its emphasis on “Showing, not telling!”

It boggles my mind that no matter how much you write it’s never good enough. And yet, I’m also not naive and going to expect to get published on my first go around.

The letter wasn’t much. It was actually polite and kinda made me feel better and really left me wanting to submit more knowing I could handle the rejection. I’ve included a screenshot below.

Writing Rejection Letter

As you can see, it was submitted to Poetry Breakfast, a WordPress poetry site that’s currently looking for submissions.

I attached roughly 5 poems and was really not looking forward to hearing their response but was anticipating the rejection. Which is why I’m happy.

Quantity is Quality

The key to success, or so I’m told from other professional writers, is getting the practice in early and taking the rejection well. So the very idea of getting rejected in the first place is a big deal for me.

Essentially, it means I took the first step to getting published. And while that is a road I never really was interested in going down, as of late I’ve been considering the idea of having more than just a blog to my name kind of enticing.

Not to say blogs aren’t bad by the way!

In fact, I think all the best poetry out there can be found in the WordPress community and in a way I’m proud of that.

In an age when everyone is looking for acceptance and waiting to get lucky and get discovered (as if God had nothing to do with our success…), it’s quite appealing to find that we can publish our own work without frowns and “suggestions” from untalented editors and magazine publishers.

Not to say the modern poetry industry is flawed and full of hacks, but ahem, I’ll be nice. I’ve written enough poems expressing my frustration with that beast.

Going Back to My Roots

To be honest, the biggest hurdle I see in going forward and trying to get published is my inability conform to what I see as a current trend in poetry in 2017. Which is honestly, garbage in my opinion.

I enjoy romanticism and what the industry calls “easy rhymes”, sometimes belittled by modern poets as doggerel and kid stuff. Which is kind of insulting to a lot of poets that were fare more talented and skilled with their pens?

To me, poetry is about language and less about showing! showing! showing!

But having sat in professional poetry workshops and studied the art form in college, all I find is an insistence on what I like to call verbal diarrhea.

Which is basically poems that are made up of rants and run on prose broken into lines that often make no logical sense in their cuts. If all it takes to be a poet in this day and age is broken up sentences and big words found in thesauruses then I guess I want no part of that industry.

I look to the past and see poets such as Emily Dickinson and guys like Thomas Hardy and see beauty in their vernacular prowess but more, ability to express the mystery and sensation that is the heart of the form contained within 4 stanzas or less.

They didn’t need to write 4-page poems that had no sense of rhythm or even dialect or anything resembling a musical quality to express a mood or regret.

Take, for instance, a poem called “Neutral Tones” by Mr. Hardy. It’s expression of sorrow and frustration over a former romance and is easily and concisely captured in a few stanzas. It isn’t full of pretension and biographies listing all of his professional publications.

Fuck you, right?

I say that with a lot of scorn knowing I’m essentially looking for own little resume to attach to my submission letters and yet there’s no other way to put it.

I feel modern poets, and by that term I mean the giants of the industry, have gotten where they’re at more from networking and college than they did from actual skill.

And no, I’m shitting on MFA programs but I have to laugh at a number of poets who think they have something to say when they have never lived a life or wrote a poem that has moved me to tears and driven me to seek more of their workout.

But damn, the ink does look good against the white page, and they do like to stand at podiums and drone on about their work. And complain that no one reads poetry anymore, which is utter garbage. Just look at our poetry sites for proof.

But I digress.

The truth is, I’m going to keep seeking approval from these boring overlords because the time is now hitting me that if I ever want to be taken with any semblance of seriousness, I have to show that I can get published in a professional publication and find approval in an industry I kinda self-loathe. And I guess that makes me a sellout and a hypocrite, to which I would say, yes and yes.

As always, God bless and may your pen keep flowing!

Best.

 

Michael

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About Michael Medlen

My name is Michael and during my free time I avoid having a day job. Strangely enough, this gives me the freedom to run this blog. I write just about anything that can be considered art. I also occasionally post articles that may or may not be relevant to the theme of this site. Youโ€™ve been warned.
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16 Responses to First Writing Rejection Letter

  1. I get to!d all The time to write a book, short stories or s seen p!at etc…apart from having no confidence to do it. The bullshit youre talking about here just makes me think fuck it no thanks. It seems link such an uphill struggle

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly, I think something like you’re doing would be ripe for self-publishing. My brother is the same predicament, has a couple books written but has no interest in looking for publishers.But I’ll tell you what tho, if you ever did, I would love to review your work on this site! And for what’s worth, I think you’re an awesome writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks that’s really kind of you. I keep hearing about self publishing but I have got a clue what it is really?
    how does it work?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it’s mostly just leveraging your audience and hosting your own store on your website. As far as the actual book all a self published book is just a simple PDF file and having a decent cover. But of course, I’ve never published myself so take this wisdom with a grain of salt…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. do people sell them? because that seems like a lot of effort!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, they’res actually people that do pretty well. I’m actually looking into creating a website with my brother that’s going to be called getyourselfpublished.com that’s will hopefully explore more about that question. Maybe we could collaborate in the future…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. that’s a brilliant idea. you should def do that. I would def be interested in learning more about it. I wrote my blog because a friend forced me into it lol…….I never expected that it would be read by many people. because of the love and support iv received on here and the gentle push in the direction of publishing im seriouslt thinking about it

    Liked by 1 person

  8. For sure. It’ll take some time to get up and running but hopefully will work out. Im actually taking a course right now on internet marketing and driving up traffic to our sites. I’ll have to share my knowledge when the time is right ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. good for you. traffic that’s another buzz word I keep hearing. again I haven’t a clue about that either so I will look forward to your font of knowledge statues lol

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ridingrio says:

    I truly enjoyed this. Modern poets would probably despise how I write… sigh… ah well, I write how I speak. I suppose it’s not for everyone. I love your work.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks for the compliment. And believe, the feeling is mutual.

    Like

  12. Amen! brother.

    Honestly, self-publishing through (Lulu Press Inc.) or (createspace) does have it’s benefits and being your own man and publishing every book of your own makes you, your own master of your own domain and have full control of your writing material and you can self-distribute your book and self-promote your book. Trust me, its what I do….and its a struggle but, you do everything your own and its beats having to spend money on a corporate faceless company who just want to suck every penny off you. Fuck! publishing industries. I’ve been rejected too and never again will I ever submit any of my works to any independent wannabe submitting sites.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ll have to pick your brain in the future then for some “professional” advice ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I released my first book ever last year. Trust me, its worth being your own man and independent writer.

    Here’s a link to lulu press.

    Trust me…if you publish your own work through them, they won’t touch or edit your work. They have options if you decided to want an editor or not.

    https://www.lulu.com/

    Let me know what you think.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ll give it a glance when I get around to it. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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