When I first saw the call for submissions last summer, I knew it was a perfect fit. The journal wanted to hear from teachers of writing who write with their students. I do that! I do it every day in my classroom. It wasn't something that came naturally, either. My path to growing comfortable enough to write authentically with my students was a journey through the first few years of my teaching career.
I wrote my butt off. I cited sources. I dug deep into my grad school notes and IWP reflections and the moments from my classroom that stood out, and I wrote.
I wasn't cocky enough to think I'd get published the first time I ever submitted something to an academic peer-reviewed journal. I was fairly sure I'd be rejected.
But they didn't reject me. Not at first. They gave me revisions. I revised.
They gave me a second round of revisions. I revised more.
I wrote about revising, and I revised, and I allowed myself to experience that most dangerous of all drugs: hope.
I stared at the screen and I contemplated when the line is crossed between a piece of writing not being yours anymore. When are you trying too hard to please the audience instead of yourself? Is it possible to write about authenticity as a writer while pandering to revision suggestions that you don't necessarily agree with? Are these obnoxious questions by an obnoxious writer who views all editors as creatively inferior because they'd rather judge than create? Am I really just a bitter child because a journal that I like didn't like me back quite enough?
I thought I was handling this well, until I started to write about it. Now I'm realizing that it stings more than I thought it did.
It's okay. It's okay to be sad and petulant because I didn't get the thing that I worked for. For now.
I'm also telling myself that it'll be okay to sneer, for just a moment, at the issue when it eventually comes out. It'll be okay to tell myself that my article was better than the ones that will ultimately be published, even if that flies in the face of all reason and evidence.
And then I'll get over it.
I have too many things to say, too many potential articles to write. Maybe every single one of them will get rejected. Maybe one won't, someday.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.