Oh, failure is hard! And so unavoidable. It’s a bit like the ‘slushpile’ term though isn’t it? Perhaps more negative than it needs to be for some of the things we are talking about. Things like not getting short listed in major comps, or not getting a story into a popular journal … are they really failure, or are they a lack of success? Maybe it’s semantics, but I like to tell myself there’s a grey area between those two, especially when we’ve no idea how close we were to that short list, or how another judge/editor with different tastes might have decided differently. What’s that quote – you haven’t failed until you stop trying.
That said, I subbed a short story I was really quite proud of to 3 or 4 journals this year with no success, and am feeling thoroughly dispirited by the whole thing. Other stories of mine I didn’t think were as strong have been published, so am I subbing this one to the wrong journals, or is the story just not as good as I thought it was…Gah.