I got a rejection this morning for "Rumpelstiltskin," which was not a happy way to start the day. I felt low* all morning until lunch, when I reread the story to see if it needed any tweaking before I sent it out again. Then I discovered that yes, I was right, it is a very well-written story. It may not be what CatsCurious was looking for, but I wrote a story I'm proud of and that's just as important. Of course, there are no other markets that want light-hearted fairy tale retellings, so I think I've learned another important lesson here: don't write to a narrow market that's only accepting one story for a pro-paying project.
I also discovered that a big part of my disappointment is that now I'll never find out what another author would have done with my character of Rumpelstiltskin. He ended up a sympathetic character; that's probably a big reason why the story was rejected, actually, but who wants an evil bad guy with no redeeming qualities? Boring.
*I'm stuck on this term because of Diana Wynne Jones's entry on Dungeons in the Tough Guide to Fantasyland: "It is all designed to make you feel low. ... Do not, however, let this get you down." I need to print that out and stick it over my monitor.