Jun 9, 2022Liked by Meta Wagner

Great post Meta. I remember someone at the New Yorker Festival once said what they were most proud of was their first rejection letter from the magazine —and they framed it. The mag had read their work!

I feel like that. If you don’t try you won’t succeed. We learn from every “no” and it’s that which gets us to “yes.”

Maybe my confidence base is just happy to be included in a community of writers - so the rejection still validates 😊

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Jun 8, 2022Liked by Meta Wagner

Meta… are living inside my head?

Your piece here dredged up an old wound. Thank you for sharing your rejection. It is more helpful than you know. When I was young, I thought I’d write a breezy travel piece for the New Yorker. It’s what I knew.

I was I’ll equipped on many levels to succeed, but I was sheathed in the hubris of youth. I can only remember the tone of the article was removed, full of my own inflated humor and didn’t possess any of my real self in it.

I received a very thoughtful rejection from the editor encouraging me to keep trying. I only perceived rejection and did not realize how magnanimous the note from the editor really was. Who the hell was he to reject this brilliant review of Singapore?

It stung so hard I never submitted another article to a magazine again… oh the hard-headedness of youth. This experience provided me two things ultimately. It hardened my shell a bit, but made me want to sharpen my tools as well.

I’ve read of the numerous rejections of accomplished authors like J. K. Rowling and cursed myself for my own self-important approach to the craft.

Now I’m a bit more zen. I realize I’m not that important so why not write to please myself. In this frame of mind I’ve written my best stuff…. Or maybe not :-) but I like it.

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Hi Meta. It is comforting to know that someone as accomplished as yourself has your own special writer hang-ups! I wonder, having written about this, whether that will one day free you up to pitch the NY Times. After all, you are probably much more accomplished and aware of your inner gremlins than you were back then 😉

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Jun 8, 2022Liked by Meta Wagner

An interesting case which may or may not fit into the fear-of-rejection paradigm: publish traditionally or self-publish? Was I afraid of the thousand-or-so rejections I was likely to amass, or did I rather make a sober assessment of the odds and the likely length of time it would take for my novel to see print? I incline to the sober assessment hypothesis, but the fear-of-rejection hypothesis also has some merit. Or maybe that should be the do-I-really-need-the-aggravation hypothesis.

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