When rejection letters hurt

I joke with my students that they should start submitting their work for publication from the first day of their first year at uni. Lots of them ask me why and I explain that, unlike our peers in education, or medicine, or law, we don’t need a piece of paper to be able to start working in the field they’ve chosen to pursue. “But,” I always say, “you also need to submit because you’ve signed up for a life of rejection and the sooner you start racking up the rejection letters/emails, the sooner you can start understanding what it’s like to be a real, working writer.”