Sunday, June 19, 2011

Writing Journal: Now I am Officially a Writer

Well, I knew it was going to happen eventually.  It's virtually impossible to be a writer and NOT have it happen.

But knowing its going to happen doesn't always make it easy when it does.

I received my first story rejection...

Well, technically, I'd been turned down before on my 50-word story over at the 50-Word Story blog, so I guess that was really my first rejection.  But this seemed, somehow, more "real".  It was for a story that I'd spent quite a bit of time writing and honing, and so I think I had more emotional investment in this piece.

My flash-fiction story "Waiting Backstage," the first piece of writing I ever actually submitted, was rejected by Every Day Fiction.  It was a positive that it even made it out of the slush pile and referred to the editors, and the rejection was a personal rejection, not just a form rejection, so that's another positive.

Plus, the rejection had feedback and comments from three of the staff at EDF, and there were many positive things said about me and the story, most notably "I'd like to see more from this author."  Several of the comments suggested ways to improve the story, and they were truthfully spot-on.  Overall, they were fair, very positive, and extremely helpful on how I might make the story better, and I have to admit that I agree with them on what were some weak points of the story.

So, in many ways, it was a positive experience.

But it was still a rejection.

I'll edit and tweak the story to make it better incorporating the feedback from EDF, and then throw it back into the submissions pool at another venue.  And I'll also keep writing and submitting other work to Every Day Fiction (in fact, there's another story of mine over there currently in the slush pile).

So the rejection isn't the end of the world.  It's just part and parcel of being a writer, right?

I expect I'll get more, so I'd better get used to them.

But it still kinda bites...


Julia Munroe Martin said...

Yes, part of being a writer, but it is the *crummy* part of being a writer! I think the first may be the hardest... but it sounds like you were lucky enough to get absolutely incredible feedback! YAY! Congrats!?

Chris Fries said...

Thanks, Julia! I appreciate the commiseration. Yeah -- it's crummy. But I knew that everything I wrote and submitted wasn't going to get magically accepted and published on its very first try.

And the positive feedback and helpful suggestions were great to get, and in the end it will improve the story. So I am very thankful for that.

Still, it was the first one, and I had to wait 72 days to hear "No, thank you," so I it kind of stung a little bit more than I expected.

But I'm ok -- I have too many other things to crank out for my W1S1 challenge to brood about it for too long, LOL!

Thanks again!

Milo James Fowler said...

For me, that's been the best thing about W1S1: I'm too busy for rejections to sting too much. But they still manage to sting some anyway. It's much better to look back at a dozen or so of them once a story is finally accepted than it is to live through each one. But we have to. PERSPERISTENCE!

Julia Munroe Martin said...

hang in there! we writers have no choice, right??? :)

Chris Fries said...

@Milo: You are completely right! And the story has already been refined and is undergoing another review before being thrown back into the submission pool this week, along with another W1S1 sub. Eventually, some of these will find a home. Persperistence, indeed!

@Julia: Right!!!

Thanks again to both of you for the comments and the support!