If you’re a writer, or have interviewed extensively for a job, or a school, or have ever asked someone for a date, you know that pit that forms in your stomach when the moment of response arrives. It’s made up of self-doubt, fear, anxiety over how much you needed that thing for which you’d tried out. After time, experience, many such pits forming, you get used to it and everything is less dramatic, less traumatic, because trying over and again tells you one swing of the bat does not a baseball career make. (Note that, sports analogies won’t happen often on this page.)
This effect can be greatly enhanced by juxtaposition with another event, something which messes with your state of emotion or consciousness, and therefore your defenses. I had just taken a shower, having slept relatively well. Thus, I was at the start of my day. The content of this email could, right at the start, put a good or bad spin on the following fifteen hours. I hesitated only momentarily before opening the message, though. Am I growing up? Have I sent enough stories out that a rejection won’t make me feel like the sky is falling? (Kids story references, however, are likely on the increase in my life, as my fiancée and I have just had a little boy.) I kind of hope so.
Luckily, I’m saved from truly testing myself in this regard, as my steampunk superhero story, Aeolus, Chiron and Medusa, has been accepted by Dark Oak Press’s anthology “Capes & Clockwork” which should be available by the end of the year!