I maintain a spreadsheet of all the essays and submissions I’ve sent out to various magazines and online sources of this species of thought we call “humor”. The number of times an optimistic “submitted!” date is followed by a “…rejected” grows daunting at times.
A friend of mine works in an industry where people deal with a lot of rejection, and she was talking to a student of hers who is going from place to place trying to sell her work. The student said “People are so mean, and I’m getting rejected all over the place, but I’m going to keep going anyway,” and my friend was impressed, because mentally her reaction was “I have an idea, why don’t you go hide in your house?!”
Which is why my friend is my friend, because that is how I feel too on an instinctive level. People don’t like me?! HIDE AND RUN AWAY.
But I believe in myself too. Especially when I’ve written something funny and like it as much today as I did whenever I wrote it (something that tends not to happen when I’m working on something heartfelt. I may mean it in the moment but later I feel like it’s mawkish and overly sentmental). I may not know the magic words to open up the doors at…well…any of the legit publications I’m trying to open up, but I’ll get there eventually and this will be part of the story I get to tell of my trials and tribulations in the mean time.