Tuesday, November 14, 2006

...and now the Confidence Game...

So you sit and wait, lurking about your inbox like spam, hoping for that email from the editor of such-and-such magazine or anthology you recently sent a story to -

And then one day it's there... your heart lurches as you recognize the sender, and you get a cold flush when you read the subject line and see "Re: 'story name'..."

You open it, almost unable to read the words as they appear, but you do, and then you see it. One single word stands out above all else and it is like a kick in the nether-regions.

'blah-blah-blah, BUT blah-blah-blah...'

Sometimes, 'BUT' is changed with 'UNFORTUNATELY,' but regardless, the overall message is the same; your story will not be published this time.

And that's something you need to cling to - THIS TIME. Your story won't be published this time, but perhaps NEXT TIME it will. You have to cling to that because otherwise you'd buy a gun and go postal on all editors...

Writing is a horrid thing, but I love it and cannot give it up. So I have to push aside the rejections and move on, send those stories back out there.

I got 2 rejections this morning, one from an international magazine and one from an anthology, but it was the anthology I was really bummed about. Damnit! I really dug that story. I thought it was a really good tale, one that would suit their vision of the anthology - but I was wrong.

It IS a good story but one that wasn't right for them. So I've had a look over the story and then sent it out there right away. Good luck little buddy, go make us proud. And if you end up home again, no worries, I'll fix you up and get you out there once more.

You have to persevere in this game. You have to believe in yourself and have the dedication and determination to succeed. I finished my PhD in mid-2005 and it was only then that I was able to completely give myself over to my fiction writing; in that time, I've had 5 short stories published and 1 article coming up, which is a pretty good start.

At times like these, you need little moral boosts like that. I've also been fortunate enough to have had a couple of good reviews written about my few stories, so I go back and read them to remind myself that I can write and I do know what I'm doing.

Then I roll up my sleeves and get stuck into the story I'm working on, more determined than ever before to make it shine...


Brian G Ross said...

Yeah, Marty, perseverance is definitely the key to success here... and a little bit of talent won't go astray either.

I love gettin' up in the mornin' to check my emails, although the wife thinks that's just about the saddest thing she has ever heard!

Keep pluggin' away - I know I do. Rejection only means there's one less magazine out there to say no.