Rejection is Step One
I have received my first rejection letter. It was the flashfic I posted a couple weeks ago: The Mandolin.
Shouldn’t I be disappointed? Instead, I’m elated. After all the authors I’ve talked with and the workshops I’ve attended, a rejection is the start to your career. I’m at the very beginning of this adventure and one rejection won’t slow me down. It’s fueling me forward to learn more about the craft of writing and to hone my skills to the degree that the rejections start to turn into suggested edits which morph into immediate acceptance.
I’m looking forward to my next rejections. You have to put yourself out there in order to find the right fit in a partner. The same is true of a publisher. I will continue to put my work out there until it finds a home. At the Jody Lynn Nye Writers Workshop, she said to send your work to one publisher at a time. So, I will search for another publisher of flashfic and send in The Mandolin again.
I finished my second short story last week: Gabriella and Periwinkle. The story features an innkeeper’s daughter from a small town who meets a young dragon. This story flowed from me, very easy to write. I’ve sent it to a few beta readers from the before-mentioned Workshop. After the students get a chance to read the tale and send me feedback, I will revise the work and send it to the Writers of the Future contest. Again, what do I have to lose?
I am still working on my book, but I feel that story will benefit from me learning how to write better. Hence, I’ve been concentrating on short stories. I have to admit Short Story Monday was a bit naive on my part. I found it increasingly difficult to get Gabriella and Periwinkle complete in one day. It took me two full days of almost nothing but writing. Therefore, I’m morphing short story Mondays into Short Story first week of the Month. If anyone wants to read the story, let me know and I will gladly email it to you. I was warned NOT to post my work on the blog because some publications count that as previously published.
I suppose I must be growing. Rejection used to be an impossible concept for me to swallow. Even a silly thing, like a girl leaving our Girl Scout troop, would depress me for days with constant analyzing over how I could do better. Old age must be bringing me peace as I come to realize that I CANNOT please everyone and I do NOT always get it right. Yet, as the theme seems to be in this season of Doctor Who, consciously striving to be a good person is at least moving in the right direction.
Plus, I happen to be in good company. Kevin J. Anderson proudly carries around a headless trophy awarded to him for having the most rejection letters by weight than any other writer. Yet, he is one of the most successful published authors of our time. I will keep typing away. I can see my name on the cover of a book already. I just don’t know what the title will be!
My book recommendation for today is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. It is a touching story of a gorilla, Ivan, determined to save a young elephant from a life in the depressing mall exhibit. This book is appropriate for young readers third-fifth grade. I enjoyed the quick read of short chapters, accompanied by a few sweet drawings. The story pulls at your heart strings and once brought tears to my eyes.
Read more books!