08/27/2008 01:09 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Joy of Being Rejected, or, the Art of Being a Writer

Nothing like being rejected to make you grow. But, I just want to know one thing: How tall do I have to get? I haven't won the Man Booker Prize yet but I've been published by the big boys and by some little guys; so, by all accounts I deserve to be told such things as, "Quit yer whinin'!" "Shut your pie hole!" and "You're already so successful!" Right. So, why does rejection still feel like there's a rodent scurrying up my back rather than water off a duck's? Had I kept all my rejection letters and self-published them, the volumes would rival the Encyclopedia Britannica, so I should be used to this by now. And, it's not just the rejections from editors worldwide I'm talking about. Let's not forget the informed opinions of friends and family members who get roped into reading multiple drafts of your beloved manuscript for important feedback. "It's lame!" my husband once said about the first few chapters of what I thought was the Great American Novel. And, recently a friend of mine choked violently on whatever she was chewing when I told her that someone had compared me to David Sedaris. "Um, you're not like David Sedaris," she finally sputtered after the long silence, which followed her near-death experience. "You're funny but he's quirky." Let's see, that makes me about 8'10" by now. I'm telling you, I can't find clothes that fit anymore, and I absolutely refuse to shop at Big and Tall stores. So, if I want to continue to be a writer -- of things other than blogs -- I'm obviously going to have to get philosophical about the way the publishing world works. If tell-all books by famous people are all the rage, why, I guess I'm going to have to figure out a way to get famous, make sure dramatic, tragic or life-altering things happen to me along the way, and then suck it up when I get that letter telling me that my voice is great but we just can't figure out how to market your book. Another few inches, and one more dent in my ego can't hurt as I start to tackle my next project. I'm taking the part about my great voice to heart, and adding that letter to my encyclopedia. That thing's gonna make me rich someday.