Rejection Letter. (To myself. I got it out of the way.)

Dear Ms. Kripsky,

We are delighted to inform you that your work has not been chosen for anything whatsoever. Not for publication. Not for examination. Not for decoration. It’s not useful. It’s already garbage. It is in fact waste. It’s your dog’s poop of the low- grade kibble she just ate. I’m not even sure we would use your manuscript to pick up that poop if wasn’t already the poop itself.

Ms. Shmitsky, we’d like to advise you to please reconsider your life. Not because we care a great deal about you or are concerned for your mental state, truthfully we could not care less; but because we are worried about keeping the standard of craft alive. And you’re desecrating it. You are very much bringing us all down. Your efforts seem valiant, but to quote a real writer: “I know not seems, Madam.” See, it’s about the result, it’s about the product, it’s about talent and skill and merit. And you have very much failed in all of these capacities, you have very much missed the mark, you have very much embarrassed yourself. Be ashamed. Please.

There is a hole, Ms. Babinsky. It’s in the middle of the desert in Afghanistan. There is a hole there and our publishing house would like to make the recommendation that you travel to this country, spend a chunk of your savings to buy the airfare because it’s worth the journey to that hole. There and only there, in the middle of heat and isolation, among the many miles of death and thirst where we are certain no one will ever see your compilation of weak words and paltry ideas, such defective thoughts all jumbled together, we are asking you to throw your stories away. And do it in secret, if you would be so kind, because we believe Afghanistan itself would reject the addition to its land.

Let me be clear what we’re asking here: bury your novel. Novel. Ha! Calling your work that tarnishes the very category. Regardless, let all of your pages belong to a sea of sand, let them fade into nothingness because that’s what your scripts truly are. Nothing. You have left us, quite frankly, fearful. Fearful that someone like you thinks she can pull this off. Fearful that you can be so wrong, or that you in any way, shape, or form might consider yourself a real writer. You are not a creator of anything, other than failure.

We are on to you. We hear the faint whispers of your insecurities and self-hatred, that vulture inside your mind, and we’re encouraging you to listen to it. Believe the vulture! It is not there to be overcome, but to hold you back as you should be held back, Ms. Wawinsky. In return for this heartfelt letter, which was shockingly easy to write, we implore you to drop the pen, the paper, the typewriter, the computer. Drop it off at your mother’s house. Drop it in the middle of a busy highway. Drop it into a volcano and pray for the activity to resume. Drop it into that sandy Afghan hole. Drop it in the ocean. Drown it. Drown yourself. Drown your desire to write again. Because you should not, you cannot, and you do not deserve to.

Ah, there! We feel better. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter, and for disappearing entirely from literature. We hope never again to hear from you or about you!

Sincerely,

The very important person you’re terrified to get this note from. (Some people call me Chad.)