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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Purple Power

Today I got a really great rejection. I say this without sarcasm; I was rejected in the best way possible, with encouragement that my manuscript is good enough to be published in the future (even though this press was rejecting me), and with specific comments on my writing that lifted my spirits. The best part is that this came from a press I consider out of my league, that I only submitted to because the timing was good for me, which it had never been before with this press.

I had been considering whether to stop submitting this manuscript for the time being, but now I will continue (though in the months between when I submitted to this press and today I have strengthened it considerably by pulling the weaker poems and inserting a new section of linked prose poems which I think are pretty strong). I have hope again when until this morning it had been waning.

When I went to enter this rejection in my submissions spreadsheet, I was about to change all the information to red (I color-code my worksheet: black for outstanding submissions, red for rejections, green for withdrawals, and blue for acceptances). I was thinking what a shame it was to code this entry red when I was actually feeling pretty good about the rejection, when I remembered that a month ago I had also received a very encouraging rejection (I'd had to withdraw some poems from the submission when they were accepted elsewhere, and this journal told me they had been very interested in the entire group, and were disappointed when the withdrawal made it impossible to publish the entirety) and had decided to code it in purple because red didn't really reflect what it meant to me. So I happily coded this near miss purple too.

This is, I think, a good practice: to consider encouraging rejections as positive, and to remember them that way. Now when I see purple on my spreadsheet, I'll feel encouraged (not as encouraged as when I see blue entries in a sea of red, but still...). Appreciate your near misses; not everybody gets them.


Mari said...

Congratulations on receiving such encouraging feedback, Jessica! I'm sure your manuscript will find a good home, in time.

Back from Japan a week now and recovered from my jet lag. I had a good visit with Alan Botsford's (Poetry Kanto) Kanto Gakuin students and a gratifying visit, overall. Also, enjoyed dinner with Mariko Nagai in Tokyo; really great to spend time with her.

Sending you good wishes for your writing and your life.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Glad to hear you had a gratifying visit to Japan, Mari. It's so wonderful that you were able to come, even if you didn't make it to Kansai and I didn't make it to Kanto. You know more writing people in Japan than I do,apparently--good for you.

Thanks for your good wishes. Here's hoping things work out eventually.

Mari said...

Yes, they always do (work out eventually), even if it doesn't look that way immediately.

Facebook, for all its annoyances, helps me to stay in touch with writers in Japan, so I'm grateful for that.

I hope to make it to Kansai next time. And I may see you in my area later this summer...?

Take care, Jessica. All best with SCHOOL, teaching, parenting, and everything else you have on your plate.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Thanks, Mari. I'll let you know when I'm in SoCal.