Rejections are tough, no question. And editors, God bless ’em, are known to reach out on occasion and provide a word or two of explanation–usually to soften the blow. But sometimes it backfires. Sometimes what an editor, through the goodness of his/her heart, provides by way of explanation can be outrageous, insulting, or worse: can stick in your head like the inane chorus of a damn top 40 song, just to make you feel hopeless, despondent, and hateful.
I’m not going to name the journal, let alone the editor, but the most recent case of this happening earned me the following: “One of the reasons I passed on your story was I thought it was a bit too long. And not just for our mag, but for what it was doing.”
Now, I could list out the reasons why this irritates me. I could find fault with it’s logic. I could recuse its author. I could continue my tantrum. But all that is sheer defensiveness. What I’m interested in here is the pain. Are there any criticisms you’ve received from editors (or anyone, really) that have stuck around beyond their usefulness, causing irritation, anxiety, or dismay? Maybe if you gave voice to them here, you could set yourself free.