I still have the first rejection letter I received as a writer, from a book publisher: “Dear Mr. Schlimm: Unfortunately . . . Regretfully . . . We are unable . . . For reasons we are sure you will understand, we cannot . . .”
I still have the first rejection letter I received as an educator, from the first job I applied for after earning my duel Secondary teaching certifications in English and Speech Communications and a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University. I had applied for the position of English teacher at my high school alma mater. The letter reads: “We have decided to hire a candidate that better suits our needs.”
And, I still have the first rejection letter I received as an artist, from our local arts council gallery where I sought to exhibit my Primitive Americana Folk Art—two pieces of which had just recently been sold at auction in New York City to benefit the Twin Towers Orphan Fund. The local arts council gallery letter reads: “Your submitted artwork was not approved by our jury.”
Each of these rejections was a door slammed shut on my knuckles.
I could take you point-by-point through each rejection, giving you the back-story, outlining the politics and personal biases involved (especially in the last two). I could whine and moan and begrudge. I could ballyhoo, Woooeee is me!
But truth be told, I owe the folks behind each rejection above the biggest hugs of gratitude.
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