I knew it had to happen, but today I received my first rejection.
I'm not upset about it - I'd pretty much convinced myself it was going to happen - but I am grateful for it. The editor was very kind in his response, explaining why my story didn't work for him and stating that he liked my writing generally. And now that I am thinking about it, I can see that he's right about the story itself.
The piece was submitted before it was ready, with me relying on what was really only an early draft. I should have taken more time to perfect it, rather than just saying "that's ready, let's submit". It's something for me to think about more.
I'm going to let the story sit for a while before I try and go back to it - I have plenty of other ideas to work on at the moment, so that's not a problem.
And maybe the next one I submit to him will be a better fit for his ezine...