During my college days, I wrote several short stories. Once I graduated, was married and working fulltime in a marketing department, I pulled those short stories back out, polished them up and even wrote a couple more. The I started shopping them around.
I lost count of how many places I sent them. I filled two or three printed sheets of an excel spreadsheet of where I kept track of it all. One by one, I recieved form letter after form letter of rejections. "Thank you for thinking of us, but . . .," "not right for us . . .," "does not fill our needs at this time . . .," etc.
I did get an occasional "encouraging" rejection: a rejection with personal comment. Even though it was a "no," the editor had still taken the time to hand write a note or make some personal comment.
For years, that was all I had to hang on to, encouraging rejections.
I kept writing.