I just got a message from a literary journal and they told me that some flash fiction I submitted to them for consideration is moving to the second round of reading. I’m trying not to get my hopes too high, this isn’t the first time I’ve got an email saying that, and if they decide not to publish my work, to reject it instead, well, that isn’t my first rodeo either. But in the sad days that we are living in now, wondering how I can be of service to others, getting my work published feels more urgent. I’m sure a lot of artists and creative types are feeling that way now, and I hope you are finding ways to get your work out there, because man it is helping. It’s helping me, for sure.
I started sending work out for consideration about two years ago and sometimes I look at my numbers and want to scream. Two years of submitting and I have eight publications (mostly online) and about 47,659 rejections. Okay, maybe not that many rejections, but doesn’t one rejection feel like 20,000? It does to me. I wish I could say I found some way to combat this. Help you out in some way, but I haven’t. I think maybe my skin is just tougher now. But honestly, really, I wish there was a way we could all get our stories, our poems, our artwork, our ideas to those who need them the instant they need them, wouldn’t that be amazing.
I still get random people who contact me about my daughter’s story. It’s been two years and they find me and they thank me for sharing, and I think, I think, that’s what makes it all worthwhile. The long nights of staring at a blank screen. The torment when a rejection comes in and I just knew I shouldn’t have aimed so high. My constant inner critic, who really is just a jerk. It all makes it a little better for a day or two.
I have no good news for you today. No funny anecdotes. No reassuring words. I just want to say to keep creating whatever it is that you are creating. Keep moving forward, even when it feels like you can’t. And it’s okay if you can’t create right now. If you can’t physically put paint to canvas, or pen to paper, or needle to needle. Lying on the floor and feeling the weight of the world on your chest while you eat Cheetos is totally okay too. There will be other days to get rejected.
Best of luck!
I love you and your art!
Some Stuff That is Keeping Me Going Right Now
Quarantine Book Club: Connecting writers with other writers and readers through Zoom meet-ups. You can buy tickets through EventBright, they are only $5! I just did one this week with one of my favorite authors, Megan Stielstra. @QuarantineBook
Ever visited The Louvre? No? Me neither, well not physically, but virtually, well that’s another story…