Fluffy pointed out this article about a literary writing contest where they basically just say "none of the stories are good enough, no prizes". Kind of depressing, an entire contest where they basically decided no one was good enough. Well, reading into it, I came up with this rather frustrating and just as sad response, the reason for rejections. Now, I have no problem with "didn't follow rules" or "it was late". The others I can understand that they have to make a choice, but it is terrifying to see them display the exactly what they are looking for. Or more importantly, what will cause a rejection.
It is also terrifying that see exactly how "perfect" a story must be to be accepted. A single mistake, a single typo. That is the part that depresses me. I make mistakes, I spend hours, days, weeks pouring over my stories, and I still miss things. I pay editors to look over my stories sometimes, still mistakes. I have people say it is a good story but compared to this litany of flaws, I have to wonder if any story I write could ever match up to those standards.
That said, I'm still going to write. I just feel more crushed by that list. I'll still submit, but it adds to the doubt of succeeding. I'm going to keep on writing and submitting and trying to create the best story, mainly because I love writing and I want to succeed. I didn't need Thomas the Baker to be perfect for it to be accepted. I got One Regret into the White Wolf quarterly, but that list has really hit me on the side of the head.
Won't give up though. Sooner or later, I can make it, perfection is just a hard goal to reach.