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No regrets

eyesmag
I wrote a short piece for this online magazine that I love a few months ago. After I submitted it, I felt giddy with confidence. Of course they would love this piece. How could they not? It was magical. 

I waited patiently for the response, already envisioning what they would say and how enthusiastically they would praise my piece. I checked my email obsessively for the next two weeks. After a month had passed, I stopped expecting anything. It's been about three months now and I'm sure I'll never hear from them. It wouldn't be far-fetched to say that my piece was rejected. 

The thing is, though, I really don't care! I mean, I do care, obviously. I wish they had loved it and published it, but I don't regret spending three days working on my piece, making it as perfect as possible. I don't regret all the time I spent on it, I don't regret submitting it and I would do it all again in a heartbeat even knowing they wouldn't publish it. I enjoyed writing it, and I don't think of the time I spent on it as time wasted. I believe that I learn something from every sentence that I write, and that I improve my writing skills each time, even if it's by such a small degree that it's not even noticeable. 

I hear people often lamenting the time that they "wasted" on something. Mostly it has to do with relationships, like: I can't believe I wasted four years of my life on that jerk! And variations thereof. I always want to say, "It's not a waste!" Just because something doesn't turn out exactly the way you wanted it to does not mean that you wasted your time. I've been working on my WIP for almost three years, and I never feel that if I don't get published that I will have wasted years of my life. I'm growing and learning every day as a writer and that's nothing to regret at all.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
writerjenn
Jul. 4th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC)
Exactly. We write much more work than we ever publish; that doesn't mean the unpublished work is wasted.
Also, stories that don't find a home one place often find it elsewhere.
maggie_writes
Jul. 6th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
I always thought rejection would make me never want to write again, but it almost seems to have the opposite effect. It's so weird. But also awesome.
writerjenn
Jul. 7th, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
Rejection often does hone our ambitiousness, strangely enough. There is so much rejection in publishing that it becomes, in a way, an ordinary cost-of-doing-business.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )