When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

On writing and rejection

Yesterday I received another rejection letter from an editor to whom I had submitted an essay for consideration. It came in the form of an email that I hurriedly read late last night after the craziness of a long day spent at a track meet with Noah and a stage rehearsal for dance with Will. I wanted to cry as I scanned the few carefully crafted lines intended to let me down gently, but I was too tired then even for that, so I crumpled up my feelings of shame and disappointment and just went to bed instead.

This morning I woke up in a miserable mood, my head swirling with thoughts of how I used to be good at intelligent things, and with the realization of just how much I long now to be good at something other than lunch making and laundry and driving people where they need to go. It hurts to deliver a piece of yourself in a much loved and laboured over piece of writing and then be told, even in a nice way, that it just isn't good enough. And yet, as I've tended to all of my bruised feelings today, I've found myself eagerly forming phrases in my mind, imagining how I will write about this particular bit of life, too. It's strong, this innate desire to create something beautiful out of words, too strong, it appears, to be driven out of me by the sting of someone else's criticisms.

I was just outside in the backyard, catching a few moments of sunshine while I ate, and my eye was drawn to our vegetable gardens where all of the seeds I planted last week have begun to sprout. There is something so encouraging in those tiny green shoots that have pushed their way through the grubby soil to the bright light of the sun, the way they reach always upwards and outwards. I thought about how far the tender plants still have to go before they're capable of bearing fruit for us to enjoy, how much growing they still have to look forward to. I wonder if maybe that's the case for me, too.

Maybe it's foolish of me to believe that my words might ever be good enough to reach beyond the pages of this tiny blog and somehow touch the lives of strangers in a meaningful way. The only thing I know for sure right now is that I'm still eager to keep on trying.


  1. Lisa, I think I commented on this post on Facebook, but I still wanted to follow up here. So very many talented writers have faced one rejection after another. It is by no means any indicator of your skills or talent, although I'm sure it's very disheartening. Hang in there and carve out some time at some point to learn a little more on how to get published, by sending your writing to publishers that are a good fit for your work. There is some helpful guidance out there.


    1. This is some great encouragement and advice, Shirley -- thank you!