On Rejection (on Substack)
And how to embrace it
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Before there was Substack, there were gatekeepers (editors, agents, award committees, etc.) who held all the power in the literary world. Being rejected by them felt like a verdict on your work. These people knew good writing and could spot a novice a mile away. (Novices, for instance, often use cliches, which I just did though I’m not a novice, just loving the freedom of writing on Substack and using the occasional cliche.) In many ways, a rejection from a gatekeeper was a verdict and an accurate one.
Enter Substack. There’s still plenty of rejection—the absence of likes, shares, and restacks; emails unopened; people not subscribing or unsubscribing—but it’s a different flavor. Subscribers …