An Ode to Rejection Letters


You’ll get plenty of “Nos” if you’re going to write
Mine make a pile more than half of my height

Rejection letters are just part of the deal
And often quite lousy you’re going to feel

I freely admit that there have been tears
Getting these letters for all of these years

When it comes to rejection, I’ve seen every one
I’ve heard every “no” there is under the sun

And I can tell you, my heart, well it bleeds
Each time I don’t meet their “development needs”

“Not right for us”, I do hate to hear
That’s BS ’cause you published that type just last year

“We’re closed to submissions, no more at this time
We’ll reopen again in 3009”

“We only take queries from people we know
So if you’re not published, you’ll get the heave-ho”

“If someone refers you, we might take a look.
If not, there’s no way we’ll consider your book.

“If we’ve met at a conference and spoke for a while”
You say you might fish my book out of the pile

But I can’t afford travel, can’t spare the expense
Got two kids and a mortgage, no dollars or cents

So I’ll stay at home and I’ll work on my writing
And try to think straight while the kids are all fighting

I’ll continue to write and to read and to learn
And someday perhaps a good paycheck I’ll earn

Yet all of these years that I’ve heard the word “no”
Have really and truly allowed me to grow

Success isn’t easy, it takes lots of years
Of hard work and heartache and facing your fears

It’s been a long time now and I’ve never quit
So when I make it, I’ll have earned it legit

And when that day comes, what will happen I guess
Is that I’ll be deemed an “overnight success”…