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I Failed! Also Titled: Why My First Rejection Letter Is So Awesome.

Look, ma! I got a rejection letter from Porter Fox at Nowhere Magazine. Nowhere is hands down one of my favorite travel writing publications. It's my niche. Ever since I found them, I've felt like I could actually do this. I could travel and write and be me and carve out even a tiny resting place in the galaxy of travel writing. If you've scrolled through more than a thousand "Best Of..." "Top 7 Ways You Know You're Canadian..." "Five Reasons Thailand Is Better Than Seattle..." click-bait links, and you're as bored with them as I am, Nowhere is for you. Literary travel writing. Storytelling. Experiential travel at its best. Light on the overwrought lists. That's Nowhere. I submitted an entry to their Spring Travel Writing Contest and this is the response that I (and obviously countless others in the BCC field) received:




Why is failure exciting? Why am I so stoked to get rejected by a publication I revere? Because a travel writer who failed is still a travel writer. That sting is a far better feeling than sitting in my living room at my laptop wishing I had the guts to knock on Nowhere's door. People that I respect in the industry read my work. They didn't love it more than the work of the 11 people listed in the email, but that's not the point. It immediately brought to mind the infamous Theodore Roosevelt quote that inspired the title of Brene Brown's book Daring Greatly:

"It's not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is in the arena. Whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

Love and many more failures to come,
me


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A word on clarity, declarations, and the power of your voice (part two)