One of the best things about starting my career in theater is that I got used to rejection very early on in my life. Now every once in a while I get disappointed, but in a few minutes (literally) I always make the choice to channel that energy into something positive. I rise up out of the ashes of rejection, more determined than ever.
This scenario played out recently when I started to submit personal essays for publication in literary journals. One essay in particular, Help in the Ashes, was very important to me. It was about how I came full circle in my healing after my apartment building fire. With a lot of help, time, and support from my therapist and friends, I learned to be grateful for that day, to see it as my own Alive Day. It also helped me come to terms with a lot of other difficult circumstances in my past.
I submitted Help in the Ashes to about 10 publications before it was accepted. It will be published by the literary journal Earl of Plaid on April 1st in their “Blue Collar Royalty” issue. So if you’re in the midst of rejection, particularly as a writer, please don’t give up. Rejection can be hard to take, but don’t let it stop you. The world needs your voice and ideas just as much as it needs anyone else’s. Rise up and keep going.