34 Two summers ago I got my first taste of literary rejection, as in the letters that are always written slightly differently but mean the same thing: "thanks but no thanks". What I've always wanted to do is share my own, personal insights on creative related rejection based on what I've learned after 18 or 19 maybe even 20 rejection letters (sorry I lost count I don't think I can possibly remember precisely how many of those letters I've got at this point). The number one rule: don't take it personally, I know it's hard but it has nothing to do with the individual so this is no excuse to think less of the publication and those that put it together. The first rejection letter hurts a lot because it is the first one and you aren't necessarily being encouraged, in fact you are hearing something that can best be summarized as the word "no" but nobody wants to just say the word "no" because they realize that we are all sensitive people and they don't want to seem like the bad guy so they say no in the most polite manner possible and provide an explanation. This explanation is sometimes extremely vague and sometimes detailed (if your lucky and they person feels you are worthy of that extra time). My theory on rejection letters: the more personal and detailed that letter the better because it is a sign that the editor felt it was important to take that extra time. I feel it is important to put the whole thing into perspective because so many people mistake it for a world filled with glamor but that is the one thing it is not. It is an extremely competitive and harsh reality and you have to love it and feel determined to want to keep going on it. The two best rejection letters I received gave feedback and one of them actually wished me best of luck in my studies and my writing career and I felt so lucky to receive something so personalized since that is such a rare luxury. Most of the time the rejection letters I have received stated that it was an issue of quantity rather than their own perceptions of quality. The editors often have dozens of submissions to deal with so if they take some extra time to write a more personalized rejection letter it is deep and meaningful since they had so many other submissions to deal with and something made them feel like it was necessary to put some time aside to write a more personalized letter. One thing I keep telling myself: I have a whole life time and some of today's most well-known and respected writers have received tons of rejection letters before someone felt there work was worthy of publication.