Wednesday, May 11, 2016
A Matter of Pespective
Fresh off the heels of an invigorating workshop (Paradise Lost - San Antonio, TX) I hit the ground running with regards to my dozens of "works in progress" and submittable content.
Just being in the presence of twenty-some-odd pros and semi-pros was enough to get my gears turning and my fingers typing. In the span of 24 hours, I revised at least four (4) short stories I've had in the trunk. I polished them to a shiny gloss, gave them each a tiny sack lunch, patted their collective heads and sent them into the WYLDE to seek their fortunes.
48 hours later, I'd collected an impressive number of rejection emails. While one or two of my works are still at large in the Interwebs, no doubt trapped in some slush reader's Inbox, most came home - bedraggled, soaking wet and bruised about the head and shoulders from editorial pummeling. I took them in, gave them some hot soup and sent them off to bed.
A few years ago this would have been a severe disappointment. The (inner editor / Imposter / self-critic / negative Muse named Noyoucantia) would have a field day with it. The usual self-doubt, crippling lack of external validation and YOU SUCK buttons; the whole nine yards.
But this was different. There were no "FORM - R" (template rejection letters) in the responses. They were, in fact, encouraging. Sure, my work was not right for them due to various and sundry reasons, but the editors (very, very busy people) took the time to read the WHOLE THING. Words of advice, valuable feedback and encouraging requests for future submissions were the common denominator in every single rejection letter I received.
Well, that means I'm getting better at the craft of writing. I'm improving.
I prefer to label rejection letters as "Notices of Not-Quite-Acceptance" and will continue to do so as long as I keep working at it.
Now. Onto the next submission. Its a little chilly out there - my manuscript will probably need some mittens and a jacket.