The other day, a friend of a friend tweeted in response to receiving a submission rejection letter. A few of his followers copied his message, added encouraging words, and sent it back into the twitter universe. Now people who have never met this writer know two things about him.
1. Somebody just rejected his writing.
2. He is sulking about it.
Neither of these occurrences is uncommon for writers. Almost everyone actively pursuing publication collects form rejections. And they sting. You send your “babies” out with high hopes and big dreams. Let yourself mourn, for a minute or two, and then get back to work. But be careful who you invite to your pity party. Do you really want an agent or editor who might be checking out your work with hesitation to see your announcement that others are quickly dismissing it? You can whine, but do it offline and to someone who loves you more than your virtual friends.
Posting your writer rejections on the internet is like drunk dialing after a breakup. It might seem harmless at the time, but when you look at the after effects, it ain’t pretty.
And followers: send your kind thoughts, but don’t spread the word about someone else’s rejection. Respond without repeating it. Otherwise, you are the buddy who watches your friend in his moment of weakness and takes his picture.