What Form Rejection Means To Me

My essay, for The Rejectionist's Anniversary Uncontest:

I've had the pleasure of receiving many form rejections in my writing career to date, and I look forward to the pleasure of receiving more someday.  Yes, really.

Form rejections make my writing world go round.  Yes, really. 

A form rejection means I've written something and put it out there.  It means I've worked hard.  It means I'm taking a shot at getting my work published, which requires courage… and a little insanity.

A form rejection that falls into my inbox – always with a wonderful 'ping' to announce its arrival – means that somebody out there has read my query.  Because I was brave enough to send it.  And so it doesn't matter that this person:

Didn't connect with the story
Didn't feel passionately about it

Felt it wasn't right for them
Wasn't sure they could market it properly
Was taking on very few new clients at this time


It doesn't mean they hated it.  Or me.  And it doesn't mean I suck.  I don't.  Form rejections, unlike personal rejections, do not need analysis.  They don't require me to tear my work to shreds and start all over.  They're wonderfully polite, impossibly diplomatic one or two-sentence letters that tell me exactly what the agent's bottom line is:

No thanks. 

And that's just fine with me.  I'm not damaged.  I'm not going to drive myself crazy wondering WHAT DOES IT MEAN? like the Double Rainbows dude.  All a form rejection means is that I'm going to query again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

Until someone says yes.

(And someone did.)