Here’s what I have learned: I loved that story. I will always love that story. But it’s not going to be published. (Probably–one never truly gives up hope, right?) What matters, though, is I learned an incredible amount of craft from writing that story. I learned about rejection and writing better query letters by submitting that story. I learned. I got better. And if that’s not the best argument in the world for those times when we feel so discouraged because we’re told, ‘Keep writing. The first few novels won’t be publishable. But keep learning,” then I don’t know what is.