Look what I got! Now I am officially a “Writer,” because a leading publication passed on my essay. I can’t possibly be a bona fide writer until I get a string of rejections, and with the below email, I am on my way.
Now, I can brood about how misunderstood my “art” is and talk in hushed tones about suffering, while drinking hard liquor from a sifter. (It’s possible I confused writer with alcoholic.)
I will note that Mr. Jones’ email arrived on the same day we received information about 2 schools that put us on their waitlists. For those of you counting along at home, that was essentially 3 rejections in one day. I was actually happy that Mr. Jones emailed me, because the fine print of the NYT says only that if you don’t hear from them within 4 weeks, then assume your essay was not chosen. As fortune would have it, I do not have to assume; I know.
I will later post the essay FOR FREE on this blog, which is good for you, gentle readers, because you have to pay for the privilege of reading the NYT, and true art, like the pages of this blog, is free.
It would have been excellent to get editorial feedback from Mr. Jones, et al. But for now, I will console myself with the knowledge that I put myself out there, which was brave and energizing. I only experience the faintest tinge of consolation when I think about how print newspapers are almost extinct. And, frankly, making editorial decisions like passing on my essay may provide compelling evidence why.