The worst thing about getting a rejection is not the fact that someone out there read your work and didn’t like it, didn’t think it was a “fit” with their publication, or thought it was awful. No, the worst thing about getting a rejection is that brief second or less than a second before you open the rejection letter, that moment in which your ever-optimistic imagination, despite all your attempts to reign it in, lets you believe that just this one time, you’ve received an acceptance, and your heart surges a little, and then, as you read the letter, sinks. Because it’s just another rejection after all.
I got my first email rejection yesterday. It was a mass email, in which all rejectees were bcc’d. Because I have never received an email rejection before, when I saw the “from” and subject lines in my inbox, I actually let myself think I might have received an acceptance. After all, when you get those thin letters in the snailmailbox, you kind of know they are rejections, right? There seemed so much more possibility in that unopened email.