Saturday, 16 June 2012

The rejection routine

On Tuesday I was so energised to finish editing a short story and I sent it off hopefully to a high-circulation magazine.  Another story I sent off two or three months ago is also still 'out there'.  This morning a fat white SAE plopped onto the doormat and I assumed it was the story from two or three months ago, but it turned out it was the one I sent on Tuesday.  Is a four day turn around a record? Just how dreadful must my story have been! I'm able to laugh about it, but it is surprising to me how it soured part of my day. 

I also surprised myself by being able to accept all the advice I've read about rejection.
*I recognise that a rejection is a positive thing, because it shows I'm submitting material, and not just dreaming.
*I know that I'm learning, and I can learn from rejection.
*I know that the rejection might not be about my writing or ideas, but might be about the market being wrong, or personal preference.
*I'm glad that I have other irons in the fire - the story from two or three months ago, and my novel.
*I decided this evening to tackle my residual disappointment by starting to plan two new short stories. The resulting absorption and excitement have taken my focus off the rejection, and I think they both have a lot of potential.  In terms of having learnt something, I'm plotting the stories far more tightly, rather than writing with only a woolly idea of where I'm going, as I sometimes do. I think I have been guilty of skimping on preparation time with short stories, because they are not my first love...but I'm not prepared to give up on them yet, nor on the lessons I can learn from trying to get published.

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