Beautiful Compost

Even the compost pile can be beautiful.

Last month I submitted two articles to two different publications within six days. Both took a lot out of me and involved revisiting pain (more than a few tears shed) to excavate joy. Important, deep, meaningful work. Energizing and exhausting work.

Last week I heard that one of my articles had been accepted.

The email came at a moment when I was wondering where my writing was headed. There might have been a smidge of doubt, or at least wondering about where the next turn, or obstacle, would appear in this writing path of life.

Today I received a rejection. One of the things you learn in pitching your writing for publication is that, often, it’s not about you, your writing, your content. Often, it’s that another submission more directly hits the editorial team’s purpose. And that’s okay.

I still believe in my article. I believe it contains a compelling story, moments of beauty, important truths, resilient hope and joy that look even more brilliant for having been dragged through the muck and washed off afterwards.

My article may be in that publication’s compost pile. But not mine.

The writing process mattered. It taught me a few things I needed to learn. Not least of all that hope and joy are resilient. That revisiting pain can offer a new perspective. That even a rejection means I put myself out there.

What hard and good lessons are you learning?

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