I thought had 15 rejections in a row but then I counted and it’s more like twenty. Usually I can shake off a rejections, realize it is nothing personal but a business decision, not a reflection on my writing per se so much as on the journal’s content . But you know what it’s like.
Sometimes you place a little more hope in a submission, and you think: maybe this time. It could happen. You have a feeling about this one. Then the rejection comes and you can’t help but be a little flattened, deflated. Sure you tell yourself, you knew it was a crapshoot so why get so mopey? Keep on, be stalwart. Remember your quest.
Uh-oh. You do remember your quest and you think maybe that’s where all the foolishness starts. What made you ever think your poetry was a good enough for a book anyway? What makes you think anybody should want to read your story? The hubris.
It takes a certain amount of ego to even put a submission together and send it out. Maybe it’s foolhardy.
Or procrastination hampers you. Oh you want to write today but you’re doing social media. Or, maybe you’re attending a workshop where you critique someone else’s manuscript. So you talk about writing. You think about writing. You may even expostulate on writing during lunch. But you’re not writing.
Or you must do that one thing to make your brain relaxed, to get all loosey-goosey so the creative juices flow. So you’ll do that jigsaw puzzle, or have a hand or two or ten of solitaire. You’ll just read Jezebel’s Mid-Week Madness. You’ll get in a few hands of virtual roulette. You’re processing. Thoughts are percolating. But you’re not writing.
Or maybe you can’t get started because you’re wondering now whether the novel you have been working on for what seems like a lifetime even needs to be told. What of it? Perhaps it’s just you working all your issues out. It’s not some great book; it’s just your hang-ups, written and revised, fussed over like cuticles that have been bitten and can hardly be redeemed.
Wait a minute. Don’t let things get you down. You couldn’t stop writing even if you wanted to. And look, just days after you started penning this sad tale, you do find someone who wants to publish your work, maybe it is just a website, but it’s getting your work out there.
Get the heck over yourself and write while you can. Write for that ideal reader, the one who you want to make the story perfect for, the one who will read from beginning to end, the one who understands everything you mean.
You’re not digging a ditch. This ain’t brain surgery. Sit down and shut up and write.
Peace, love, and solace
P.S. Sometimes we need tough love