Errgh. I’m feeling a bit like Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons at the moment. I’ve had nine rejections in three months. Okay, these were for different six different pieces of work, and three of them were for competitions (I count not being short listed as a rejection as it means that I my work didn’t meet the required standard). I should be mighty pleased with myself because I had items to submit, and I actually made the effort to put them out there.
Also, the rejections I got from journals and publishers were very supportive. Gone are the days when I don’t hear at all, or get the standard one-liner email. I actually get some useful advice and suggests. It’s taken me a number of years to get to this stage, and thanks to the support from friends, fellow writers, the Ladybird’s Facebook writers group, and all of those good folk who’ve rejected my work.
I’m prepared to move on up into the next phase of writing. Time to stop feeling sorry for myself, reflect on the good advice I’ve received, and review those pieces and projects.
And don’t you give up either!
I have recently embarked on writing horror (a genre I enjoy immensely – and yes I accept that it is most certainly not to everyone’s taste). I have been putting the feelers out by submitting two short stories to two different horror journals.
“Good start!” I hear you shout enthusiastically.
I was rejected by both.
“Never mind, Chin up.” I hear you say.
But…These weren’t standard rejections. I received comprehensive feedback and advice from both. It was terrifying. Both replies started with the standard “thanks but…”, and then went on to say that they liked a, b, c and d. Then suggested that I “need a little more here on e” and “f” needs rewriting (and what it needs)”.
I know, this is the advice you dream of, right? They didn’t have to give me anything other than the “no thanks”, but they did. I’m taking this to mean that they thought that I was worth the extra time and resources to steer me on the right path. I really appreciate it, but I’m filled with the type of fear I need my horror works to instil in others. What if I can’t do it? What if this is the best work I have in me? What if I change it, and it’s still wrong?. The self doubt monster is knocking on the door (and it’s a big, ugly bugger).
So, what am I going to do? Well, for a start an appreciative email response to both editors who took the time out to give me the advice, is in order. Then I’m going to download the advice, save it into the folders for each story, and leave it until the New Year (less than 4 weeks away). I need to think, reflect and plan what to do next. I also need to relax – I’m not on a deadline and it doesn’t matter a jot if I need to rewrite it 40 times before i hit the mark.
Still feeling daunted though 🙂