As a writer, I don't know which is worse, a break-up text or a rejection letter. At least with break-ups the one rejecting you can use the "it's not you, it's me" excuse, but when it comes to rejection letters no editor is going to tell you it's them or it's their publication that's wrong or at fault. In writing it's you. It's always you.
The other day I received a rejection letter. Not the first and by no means the last. The day I declared my major I accepted the fact that rejections will have become apart of my everyday life. I'll submit to journals and magazines, pay $2--maybe $10--for someone to read over my work and spend days checking submittable for the 'in-progress' note to change to something absolute. There will be acceptances and there will be plenty of rejections.
I remember my first acceptance but I remember even better my first rejection because it is that very first rejection that got me to my first acceptance. It said, "hey buddy, I know you think that piece was pretty good, but we can do better okay?" And I knew it. Way back in that big ole' head of mine I knew when I sent out my first few poems that they were not my best, just my best at the time. With practice and careful editing, I've gotten to know when to send out and when to keep working on it. Does that mean I always send things out when they're ready? Nope.
In the world of Facebook sharing, re-posting, thick portfolios and artist websites everybody is sharing the work they've gotten published. It's hard to resist jumping on that bandwagon and stopping yourself from submitting to journals just for the sake of having your name show up in an index and in print.
I'm giving myself a firm slap on the wrist and holding back from submitting to more journals for the time being. I submitted my best at the time but I know that right now, today, I can do better.
And I fully intend on doing so.