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Apparently, I am a POS

by Lisa Gerard Braun 6 months ago in anxiety

I saw it in writing so it had to be true

Apparently, I am a POS
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

It was that gross feeling, that pit in your stomach, and wanting to immediately expel bodily fluids simultaneously from every orifice, kind of reaction for me.

I was referred to, or maybe one of my submissions, as a POS in a publisher’s side note.

And I saw it with my own eyes. When I tried to expand it, before vomiting in distress, it read, “Original Note Deleted.” I couldn’t read further.

This is actually a perfect way to drive a Virgo insane. Incomplete slur with no closure to justify what happened? I am left, empty and in distress, with no answer or clarification available for me to absorb.

Just nail my coffin shut.

You may question why I would want to know, or even care about someone else's opinion, but I crave understanding. It was so grossly unprofessional and it shocked me. Like an unexpected traffic jam, I was craning my neck to get to the bottom of the cause.

What happened? Why?

It’s one thing to know when you deserve a tongue lashing. Fun and vile name-calling may be warranted if you do something off the charts stupid. My skin is somewhat thick and I can acknowledge a misstep on my part.

But this? I couldn’t think of anything.

The Story

If you submit articles to publications on Medium, you learn the drill relatively quickly.

However, if you submit to several publications it may take a bit to refresh yourself on each one's specific requirements. And, they all are unique.

There is one publication in particular, that I really like, and I have yet to have a draft accepted. I agree with each and every denial I have been given; I am new to Medium and appreciate their patience. Most Publishers do a yeoman’s job for no salary. Their input is not only noted by me, but I act on it. I aspire to achieve what some of them possess.

Having a draft accepted by this publication is, indeed, a goal, now. I keep fine-tuning my formatting, enlarging my photos, and addressing anything that I needed improvement on. I really felt like I was in a good place now and had invested time and energy to be a good student.

I go over my draft with a fine-toothed comb. I have the proper heading, subheadings throughout, and my photos are properly credited. I have cited and quoted a good chunk of information. Links are embedded. The content was not only relevant but offered helpful ideas.

I send it off and wonder if this will be accepted. I can’t imagine what could go wrong. This will be the one to get the nod, I can feel it.

A reply came in just about an hour. Nice!

As usual, I am a tad premature in my excitement. On the side of my draft, where publishers leave notes on your stories, it has,

Hi I will be passing on it because we don’t take pos

I can hear you gasping. I know! I am instantly flushed and mortified. Why did I ever even think I could write something anyone would ever like? I am not a writer.

I am a pos.

Or my article is.

I need to know. How deep is this? Do I even deserve to breathe the same air as the rest of humanity?

By Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I click on the message. It disappears. There's a quick flash of the note being removed or deleted or whatever words it used. Who can remember when your eyes are blurred with red fire? I am not angry. I am sick.

For a solid five minutes, I tend to dinner and get our normal nighttime games ready for my grandson. I try really hard to distract myself from continued self-loathing. I am not proud of the things I am saying to myself. Nothing is minimizing my angst and once all is situated I return to the scene of the crime.

I opened my email. And there it was in all of its original, receipted, glory.


I assume that the publisher must have removed it, in a moment of regret, from the draft in Medium but, of course, couldn't undo my emailed copy.

I open the email much like taking a knife to a snake bit and sucking the venom out by myself from my own thigh.

And I stare.

The actual email reads less harsh on my laptop than it did on my much smaller phone.


OH! I am shy a couple of letters and had been initially victimized with an incomplete message. What a totally different feeling to read 'pos' expanding into the entire word of 'posts.'

Courtesy of the angst-ridden author

Hope is back! Joy, glee, and lightness of being!

I will be extra, double, triple sure to check and recheck my word count. Seems like the last thing on my list since there were no additional recommendations. This isn't so bad after all.

I am almost there, so close, and standing at the gates of acceptance.

I am not a POS. Well, for five minutes maybe I was.

But, no more.

Thanks for letting me share the air you breathe. I appreciate you! If you care to drop a heart, or more, fantastic. Come visit my journey of life musings (I swear I'm not a POS) when you get a chance at


Lisa Gerard Braun

I am a freelance writer, blogger, and most importantly a grandmother raising my 3 year old grandson. Visit my site of inspirational stories, personal growth, and real-life views of my journey ~ you are not alone.

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Lisa Gerard Braun
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