Rejection is a fact of life but that doesn’t make it any easier. In fact it makes it even harder because it means the chances of acceptance are slim, especially when I feel like I’m really wandering in the dark and when people enjoy and respond to what I write it’s a happy accident rather than something planned. In college all my friends and I were aspiring writers and we’d comfort each other by telling each other that you wouldn’t get your first acceptance letter until you’d been able to paper your room with rejections. I really think this supposedly comforting thought prevented us from submitting anything. Why would we want to subject ourselves to that much negativity?
And yet the urge is still there. So I wrote something that I thought was pretty funny and that maybe I should submit it. So I submitted it to, of all places, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. This was partly because I own the McSweeney’s humor anthology Created In Darkness By Troubled Americans and find a lot of it funny and felt what I’d written fit with what they were looking for. Being connected to the literary journal Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern it also seems like a pretty major publication, and I like to aim high.
You know the saying: aim for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll fall among the stars. Of course eventually you’ll run out of food and water, although your breathable air will be the first thing to go, and your corpse will forever float through the freezing blackness of space until it falls into a star and is incinerated or is gradually ripped apart by gravitational forces.
What I’m getting at is this is what happened:
You’re probably wondering what I wrote, or at least I hope you are. Let’s just say it’s a story about public transportation written in the form of early computer text-based games like Planetfall and Colossal Cave Adventure that I spent way too much of my teenage years trying to solve. I won’t say anything more about it except that it’s helpful if you ever encounter a dwarf who wants you to play Hucka Bucka Beanstalk and please tell me I’m not the only one who finds that funny. Anyway the piece may appear here eventually but I feel like the rejection has inspired me to try again. There are a lot of other places out there. Rejection is a fact of life. So is acceptance.
Let the wallpapering commence.