First let me apologize for being late with this one. I will not offer excuses just the article and the apology.
When you get the inevitable rejection letter, relax. Yes I call it inevitable because we all get them. No way not all of us! Sorry folks even Stephen King, James Patterson and John Grisham have rejection letters.
It is not a matter of if you have been rejected that counts. What does matter is what you as a writer do with it.
Do not give up!
If you send a short to a magazine you might be rejected just because of space. Nothing to do with your writing. There are a lot of reasons for rejections that have nothing to do with the piece you wrote. Keep that in mind while you write your next one and polish the one that was just rejected.
Yes I said it. Rework the one just rejected. As an author you will of course find things you want to change. Change them. Make it a piece that when it is published you will always be proud to say, “Yes I wrote that.”
If you feel bad because of the rejection try this. Take the letter with you to the bathroom. Stand in front of the sink and look in the mirror while holding the letter beside your face and the piece on the other side. Does it look like you? No! Then you were not rejected the writing was. You are still the wonderful person you were before the letter arrived. So keep being you, do something with the writing.
Some letters will offer constructive criticism. Keep them, and read them again after you have followed their suggestions. There may be suggestions that don’t work for you. That is ok too.
When you resubmit the piece to the same editor explain why you kept certain parts and thank them for the advice on the others. Being polite goes a long way.
Something else you might want to think about here is that the editor might just have taken another short similar to yours and just does not need another one now. They don’t know you so it is not you who is being rejected.
I have read things that I hated and others that I loved, by the same author. That does not mean I will or will not read their material again. It does mean that my taste changes with my mood. Does yours? If you said yes, I bet the editor’s does too.
Keep writing, keep reading and most of all never give up. You are you, and someday your best seller will be on my shelf.