Two days ago I had my first re-blog. I also received my first really rude, mean rejection letter for a short story I submitted to an anthology yesterday. I thought both deserved an appropriate response. How’s that for an interesting introduction, Mr. Editor?
In case you are not clear on this, the Editor was rude. Also in case, you are not familiar with re-blogging, one of my blogs was re-blogged on another person’s blog. I was extremely excited. You would have thought I had won the lottery, which I never play, or someone brought a chocolate cake and coffee to my house without my asking, THAT excited! I didn’t even know that re-blogging was a thing.
I have been blogging for a while as I love to write. I have loved to write since I was a small child and have had the dream of being an actual published writer for a long time. I just never dared utter the words until recently.
Trusting myself or others enough to write my thoughts and feelings down and share them with the world, or the small portion who read my blog, wasn’t something I felt safe doing until a short time ago. It was a huge leap of faith and bravery for a woman who grew up as a child who was told she was worthless. I reject that label, and I have taken my power back in many ways.
I thank the brave and talented young woman who shared my blog. Thank you, I needed that, and it gave me so much joy. I read your work. and I loved it so much that I re-blogged it on my blog. Now that I know that’s a thing, I will do it more for you and others!
She talks about the abuse in her past and her work to overcome it. I’m encouraged to read of others writing about abuse and making progress in their lives. It’s something that needs to be talked about. People need education. People need support.
Yesterday I received a rejection letter for a short horror story that I had written for an anthology. The feedback was written in a rude language. I don’t claim to be a great writer. I am new to writing stories, and I was honest about this, but I am trying. I simply ask to be treated with respect. Please educate me, but do it with respect. I initially sent a polite thank you response to the rejection. I appreciate that he read my story. I appreciate that he had feedback. I would have been able to hear it better if he didn’t insult me. He said it was a first draft. I thought we’d be discussing it, not that he would rip me apart. It didn’t seem like he got my humor. Not everyone gets my humor. I know that.
I thought about I, and I know this is not what you should do according to the rules, but it did not sit right with me. I have been abused by my parents. I have been abused by bosses, men and women who thought they had the right to be rude to me, to call me names and to threaten me. They treated many employees this way.
I decided that I’d had enough of just being treated badly without saying something about it. (Although, believe me, I did say something about it to my parents when I got older and also at times to my bosses. They were still wrong. In my opinion they were still abusive. )
I wrote back an e-mail in response to the editor and told him that his response was neither polite or helpful. No, I was not rude. I didn’t feel the need to be rude. I have manners. I simply wanted to make a point and stand up for myself. I also told him that my response (earlier) was an example of what polite looked like. I asked him to delete my story, my biography, etc.
I felt better afterwards. A rejection letter is fine. A polite rejection letter is better. Polite feedback is constructive. Saying, don’t take this personally, but…. and then being rude, does not make it okay to be rude. It’s like saying, no offense, but….. and then being offensive. It’s NOT OKAY. I learned that in life. Many people do. That’s because it’s how real life works.
Standing up for yourself is a good thing. I’m glad I did it.
And again, thank you for the re-blog. 🙂