A few weekends ago I participated in Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Form Challenge: the Haiku. On his Poetic Asides blog, Brewer asked for people to write in (as many times as they wanted) and submit their best Haiku. I worked all weekend and studied the Haiku form, and by Monday I had a great set of Haiku that chronicled the seasonal year in four sets. I really, really like them.
Then, I waited for weeks for the winners to be announced.
And, you guessed it, I didn't win. Sad day, right?
While I admit it is a little disheartening to not win (well, I knew I wouldn't win, but I hoped for a spot in the top 10 at least...that didn't happen either), it doesn't mean I should quit. Brewer himself said that over 1,000 Haiku were submitted, and getting in the top 10 was a difficult choice and interesting feat in and of itself.
Which brings me to my point: LISTEN TO YOUR FEEDBACK!
When you submit, if you're lucky enough for an editor to give you some feedback, READ IT! Don't think a rejection means your work is worthless, take it for what it says and learn from it.
Also, please take time to check out the winners of the Haiku Challenge here. They all did a great job.