Dear Mr. Failure,
How are you? Despite your return to my life yesterday, I am well. To borrow a phrase from Les Brown, I am better than good and better than most.
I am writing this letter to thank you. Yesterday, I received a rejection letter from an academic journal. I submitted an article for publication, and the editor decided it did not fit with the vision of the journal’s audience.
I can’t lie. When I opened the email with the decision letter, I was disappointed. I put a lot of time and effort into writing that article. After reading the guidelines of the journal, reviewing previous issues, and formatting my piece to fit the recommendations, I believed acceptance was inevitable.
I was wrong. You sent me a letter acknowledging the submission and indicating no interest in proceeding with publication. It was kind of you to suggest that I submit my article to another journal.
You don’t have to worry about me. Today, my plans include revising, editing, and identifying another place where I can send the manuscript. I believe it has value and makes a contribution to the field of medicine. Without a doubt, I know I have value, talents, skills and the ability to write.
No, you will not define me. I failed with this submission, but I am not a failure.
This rejection is an opportunity for me to learn. It offers me a chance to practice this craft. William Zinsser said, “All writing is revising.” I am grateful for this failure because it provides me with the impetus to assess and move forward.
I have faith that the right journal will publish that article. It will arrive at the precise time, a lucky editor is looking for a piece similar to mine. Once it is accepted and released, the intended reader will grow from its content and apply it to their practice.
Mr. Failure, this letter may sound as if I feel the need to prove myself to you. Nothing could be further from the truth. As I stated earlier, I value myself. The need for others to validate me is something I wrestled with in the past.
I am writing to you, so you understand that you did not break my spirit. Many of our great artists, entrepreneurs, and people recognized as successes meet you at some point in their life. They acknowledge you and keep it moving toward their destiny.
Consider yourself warned, Mr. Failure. You will not stop me from reaching my goals. No matter how many times you show up in my life, my discipline and perseverance will prevail. I will also train others to build the brainpower and internal fortitude necessary to push through you.
So, thank you again for showing up yesterday. I have an article to revise. We will meet again.
The Determined Writer
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