Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades

So, I got my first “almost there” rejection over the weekend.  And, me being me, I went through a sort of bizarre mental process.  In a world of grade inflation and participation prizes it’s so much harder to judge where you are on the spectrum.

I think, from everything I’ve read, that publishing is still pretty old school.  They don’t tell you to try again unless they actually like what you did the first time.  They only have so many hours in the day, so worrying about hurting some poor author’s feelings and boosting their self-esteem probably isn’t a concern.

And yet.  I spent part of the day trying to figure out how many others might have gotten that “close, but not quite” response.  And how many got a flat-out “no.”  I don’t know why it matters.

Damned American school system that makes me care what percentile I’m in.  At least with writing I can believe that there’s room to move up the scale…with standardized tests it always seemed to be that you were what you were.

Anyway, after a day of mentally chasing my tail like a six-month old puppy I finally came back to “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”  A sweetly worded no is still a no.

Glad to know I don’t completely suck and that someone who doesn’t care for or love me enjoyed my writing enough to think it was close to acceptance, but time to turn my attention back to what matters: Writing, Reading, and Thinking.

Do that enough and I’m pretty sure one day I’ll get a nice “yes.”  Baby steps…

 

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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One Response to Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades

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