So, in the spirit of honesty and full disclosure, I want to share how things turned out with the children's magazine submissions. A few weeks ago I submitted some children's stories to some magazines. I'm no where near ready to consider writing a children's book but I figured that magazines were a good place to start. I sent out four. All four were rejected. I just got my last two rejection slips this past weekend.
Do you hear that? It's the sound of taps playing dramatically in the background.
I have to say though, I'm really glad that I did a lot of research, studied my Children's and Illustrator's market and was prudent and obsessive about my submissions because while I still got rejections, the rejections were nice.
There was a little check mark next to the standard "It is not suited to our present needs". It could have been worse. A lot worse. They could have checked "it lacks a fresh approach, it lacks tight focus, it lacks a strong plot, its age range appeal is not wide enough, we don't find it interesting." In the grand scheme of things, I got off really easy in the rejection department. Can you imagine getting a rejection letter that said, "it lacks a fresh approach!" or "we don't find it interesting!" Ouch! I might never recover from such a blow!
It might sound crazy but I still count these rejections as a success. Only because they represent action. I'm not just thinking about it or talking about it. I'm doing it. And I have the rejection slips to prove it! I keep thinking of Theodor Gisel (Dr. Seuss). His first book was called "And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street." It was rejected TWENTY-SEVEN TIMES.
I'm in no way comparing myself to Dr. Seuss. I'm just saying, if the greatest children's writer in history was rejected twenty seven times for one book, then I better expect a whole lot more rejection slips in my future. Like as in, there will be barren patches of rainforest caused by all the paper needed to write all of them. I may not know a whole lot but I'm pretty sure that the road to publication is paved with rejection slips.