Saturday, November 3, 2012


Two rejections so far this week.  After being in this writing business for so long these rejections shouldn't bother me - part of the game, says I.  Yet, despite the agonizing frequency of such, each rejection feels like a dagger plunged into my heart.  A simple rejection shouldn't make me feel that I've failed, shouldn't make me think I've wasted hours, days, weeks, or months of agonizing over a word, a phrase, a passage, and shouldn't make me doubt my skills.  I know it's a simple statement of editorial preference, nothing more, so it shouldn't hurt, but it does.

Damn, you'd think after all these years I'd have built up some scar tissue to insulate me from the realities of spec writing, but I haven't.  Thanks to today's e-submission and response system I don't even have a letter I can tear up in frustration.  The boundless enthusiasm I have for writing instantly dissipates with each ever-so-neutral "thank-you-very-much- but..." rejection and, for moments after, I feel that all that effort and time put into that piece was wasted.

Two rejections in as many days tells me that finishing any of the WIP --three novels plus a dozen short stories in varying levels of draft-- and selling them is vanishingly small.

Time for assessment of my WIP, says I: Is this what it comes down to in the end; the realization that fighting to get your stories published in a dwindling market os a futile effort, to swim against the shifting tides of editorial preferences, or fight against the fall of dark night from which no one can turn?  What the shit?  Why should I put so much time and attention, my heart and should, into writing only to see my stories rejected and rejected and rejected until I feel like screaming. Why do I put myself through this? Why? Why? Why? Give me a single reason not to turn off the damn computer and walk away from this madness  Maybe it's just not worth it any more.

But then I think: Maybe the next editor won't reject these and there's the new short and that pile of WIP to finish.....


  1. > Two rejections in as many days tells me that finishing any of the WIP --
    > three novels plus a dozen short stories in varying levels of draft-- and
    > selling them is vanishingly small.

    Bud, I know how frustrating rejections can be, but I think your logic is a little flawed with the above statement. A rejection rejects a specific piece and has nothing to do with what you are currently working on. Selling them may indeed be vanishingly smalls (although, given what I know of your writing, I doubt that) but the "vanishingly small" chance is independent of the rejections you just received. To think otherwise would be a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument.

    I suspect it is your frustration talking, but don't give in to that. You write because you are a writer. A rejection is the judgement of one editor on a specific piece. It is completely unrelated to the stuff you are working on now.

  2. This comment just now popped up on Blogger, along with a dozen others that have been held somewhere. Re your remarks, I think this is a characteristic of everyone who puts themselves out there. I've talked to actors who are terrified of auditions, for example.


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