Why I Keep a Folder of All My Rejection Letters

September 5, 2017

Maybe it’s cliché to say that the rejection slip is a great metaphor for life and the many times a day we hear “no”—from a boss, a crush, a loan officer, a blood test, a judge. That we choose to seek out more rejection than life already hands us—I marvel at our particular brand of masochism.

But I get, now, why I’ve held onto that folder. It doesn’t chide me that I’m not working hard enough; it reminds me how hard I’ve worked already. And it’s testimony to my growth, too. An editor’s words don’t slay me like they used to. The yeses come more frequently now. It took fifteen years, but my poetry manuscript recently got accepted.

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