Get the “H” Out, I’ve Been Burned
Odds are that at some point in your life, you are going to get burned. There are certain variables that can either increase or decrease these odds. For example, if you are an Laplander raising reindeer, your chances of burning yourself are a lot less than if you are an Allentown foundry worker. If you enjoying spending your spare time quilting, you are less likely to burn yourself than if you spend your spare time working on cars. Or, if you enjoy cooking as I do.
Not long ago, my wife and I purchased a pound of hamburger, yet, when we arrived home from the store we couldn’t find it anywhere. We checked everywhere, retracing our steps from the car to the kitchen and every other room we had visited. I even grabbed the electric skillet to check beneath it. Oh, I forgot to mention that the skillet was on…just as I forgot that I had already turned it on when I grabbed it. Needless to say, I got burned. After yelping in surprise and running my hand under cold water, I remembered what a fire fighter once told us while camping in the great state of Virginia—the best thing for a minor burn is Preparation H. One of the purposes of this wonderful goo that no one wants to talk about is its ability to relieve the burning sensation that accompanies hemorrhoids. Surprisingly, it also works on other burns (as long as they aren’t major burns.) Not only does it remove that burning sensation—in my case, on my hand—but it also prevents blistering and helps the injury heal a lot faster.
So, you are probably wondering how this all ties into writing. If you have put any time and effort into something you have written for submission only to have it rejected, you are probably going to feel like you have been burned. Unfortunately, there is no salve that you can apply to make yourself feel better. The truth is that you really don’t need it. That burning sensation you think you feel is simply your wounded pride. The best thing you can apply to it is the criticism an editor offers. Use it to improve your work. If you think every rejection letter you receive is an attempt for an editor to burn you, you are never going to get better.
Just thought I would jot this down.