These days, I’m getting a lot of emails like this:
Dear Sidura Ludwig,
Thank you for sending us “Waiting for Dad”. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, the piece is not for us at this time.
Thanks again. Best of luck with this.
It’s par for the course. And I have made a goal of 300 rejections. So you know, keep them coming.
But as positive as I try to remain, rejection emails do not inspire me to keep going. I’m inspired by other things: my kids who ask me when I’m finally going to write a children’s book (I’m exploring); the voice of 17-year-old me who reminds me that I’m doing what I always wanted to do; those days when the writing just clicks and I’ve written something extraordinary. Even if I’m the only one who reads it that day, sometimes that’s enough.
And then, every once in a while I get an email like this:
Thank you so much for participating in Nov/Dec 2017 Family Matters contest—we really enjoyed “The Happiest Man on Sunset Strip”!
Although it did not quite make the top-25 list, it did make it a long way through the judging process, earning you Honorable Mention…
It’s not a huge deal. It’s not even a publication. But it is a reminder that yes, someone is reading my work. Yes, to some degree what I write resonates with others. That yes, if I keep at it, there will be more emails like this in the future (as there have been in the past). Sometimes this writing life is like running a marathon, feeling like you’re ages away from the finish line. But then you pass by someone who pats you on the back and says, you’ve got this. Just keep going.
Sometimes, the little things are enough.