“woman leaning on brown pavement while looking down” by Jaco Pretorius on Unsplash

The Best Birthday Gift Ever!

Yesterday, August 29th, was my birthday. I’m always thankful to make it to another birthday because tomorrow isn’t promised.

This birthday was extra special. I got the best birthday gift ever, and it came in my Inbox.

Can you guess what it is?

You’ll figure it out but I will let the suspense build anyway. *insert evil laugh here*

Let me back up.

For more than a year now I have been writing short stories every week and sending them out to various online journals to be considered for publication.

If you think that sounds easy, try sitting down and writing one short story every week.

The rejections poured in regularly. But then something happened.

On Monday, two days before my 48th birthday, I was going through my morning email and saw a reply to one of my submissions. The story I submitted to this particular journal was sent two weeks prior. Quick turnarounds in the writing world are not good. I braced myself for rejection and opened the email.

My hand was guiding the cursor to hit the delete key (because I already have enough of them saved to say “I told you so”) when my brain noticed something.

It wasn’t a rejection!

I couldn’t process it. I stared at the screen with my mouth hanging open. I called my husband into the room to share the news. Okay, I admit it, I also called him into look at the email and make sure I wasn’t going crazy.

He saw it, too!

I logged in to my Submittable account to be sure this wasn’t a cruel joke.

Sure enough they accepted it!

All of that time I spent writing, researching journals to submit to, and submitting has paid off. So many mornings I felt like I was wasting my time, but I refused to give up.

In fact, whenever a story was rejected, that same story was submitted to at least two more places. Rejection became the lighter fluid that fueled my writing fire.

It paid off.

I’m still waiting to hear from the journal about the editing process, but that’s okay.

I did it, y’all! I will soon be able to say I am a published author.

And that is the best birthday gift ever.

Originally published at audrarussellwrites.com on August 30, 2018.

Writer. Blogger. Native Jersey girl in a Maryland world. Come visit me at www.audrarussellwrites.com

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