First, I was surprised that any business (with the exception of the legal profession) would still choose to send me a paper letter when they had my email address.
Then I was glad.
I was glad to have solid proof that I did send my work out into the world, and that someone did read it and weigh up its merits. (At the very least, I know they skimmed the first sentence or two, which could have been enough to decide that “the storyline was too downbeat to entertain our readers”.)
I was glad that my secret feeling as I sent out the story – that I should have reworked it to give it a more positive first half – was proved right. Note to self: listen to secret feelings and don’t ignore them because you’re excited to send out your work now and don’t want to revise it.
I was glad that I’d overridden my secret snobbery and targeted the popular market. The fact that I was rejected showed me I still have a lot to learn about the craft of writing, and about writing for a particular audience.
I was glad that within half a minute of reading the letter my thoughts were on what I would send out next, and where to. Perhaps it will be the first of many rejection letters. I know I’ll be in good company!