Monday, March 30, 2009

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Sometimes when I submit an article to an editor, I hear back right away, but usually rejection takes a long time. The record so far is two years. So the nine months it took a certain Los Angeles-based publication to get back to me about an article on Japan that I sent them last June isn’t too unusual.

What is unusual is that I think nine months is the longest I’ve ever waited for this kind of message. It wasn’t exactly a rejection, but it certainly wasn’t encouraging. The email thanked me for sending the piece, and noted that they receive far more submissions than they can possibly print, making competition for column inches very tight. Then it invited me to look at their online editorial guidelines and wished me well.

It was, frankly, a little bit like being dumped by a serious smooth talker; the kind of breakup where the conversation seems nice while you’re in it, but later you realize that what they were saying was that there won’t be any more conversations.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad. I’m not going to go get an extreme haircut over it or anything. It just kind of came out of the blue is all. Why now? Was I being needy? Did the editor meet another Japan article? Can we still be friends? I don’t know. I’m going to spend the next few days eating ice cream and listening to Joni Mitchell, and hoping it will all make sense eventually.

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