The writer’s life – a study in failure


Hello and welcome to 2015.

When I started this blog, I was quite happy to post about the rejection of my stories to various short horror venues. If you can’t laugh at yourself and embrace your failures, well, you’re not really living are you?

That fell a bit by the wayside as I began to get more and more acceptances – not a great deal more, but I seemed to have found my level.

2014, which I neglected to review (but let’s face facts, two acceptances for the year isn’t much to talk about) wasn’t much of a year to write home about, with regards to writing. I wrote, but not as much, so didn’t send much out.

However, a clean up of my laptop in December revealed four finished, or near finished stories. Some hard work and a few weeks later I had stories ready to send out, which I did early last week.

One story which I had some high hopes for I sent to one of the top places in the market (it’s neither fair nor professional to mention who) and received a rejection within five hours of submitting.

Let that one sink in for a bit.

Now, I’m not complaining about the rejection – after all, with turnaround times in some markets upwards of six months, five hours is appreciated! I was more dismayed by the fact of rejection, basically because it’s been so long since I had a rejection (again, only having submitted a few times in 2014 has inoculated me somewhat to the shock of actually getting knocked back).

I want to point out I bear no grudges about the rejection – it’s part and parcel of writing and as I said before, the turnaround time is fantastic. Perhaps early January is the best time to submit, what with people on holidays etc?

All the usual hangups re-emerged – what am I do wasting my time writing, my writing isn’t really that good after all etc etc etc. Nothing different to what every writer who cares about their writing thinks.

At the end of the day, the story wasn’t good enough for the market – so be it – the editor knows more than me and fair enough to. The story was good (I think anyway), but clearly not great. While it stings, it also spurs.

So I’ll gather up the faded crumbs of my ego, patch them together as best I can, and submit the damn story to another market. And give that magazine another go sometime soon.

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