So the bad news is, I got rejected again. The good news is, it didn't seem too terrible this time.
I don't really know what to think about this, maybe I'm just getting used to it.
When I was submitting poems to lit magazines, I got rejected all the time, a ton, two or three a day in the mail. I'd get a little slip in an envelope that I had written myself, usually a nothing little sentence: "Thank you for your submission, but it does not meet our editorial needs at this time." When I finally had a poem accepted, I was ecstatic, but also somehow disappointed, because they took the wrong one. They took a poem that I wrote as a one-off idea, that I didn't care about too much. It was great, excellent, perfect, but my first published work was a poem that I was only mildly proud of. It was also liberating in a way because I could then stop writing and submitting poetry. I had won.
The only short story I have ever submitted anywhere was accepted for publication in the Wayne Literary Review 2012. They did take the right one in that case; I love that story. (If you are interested it is called "Burn it Down" and you can read it here: http://issuu.com/wayneliteraryreview/docs/wlr2012/1?e=0)
I believe it is not a coincidence that the word for sending work to editors and agents is the same word for giving up. I'm going to submit, one way or another.
So. New plan. I am going to throw out the somewhat dry and professional query letter that I have been submitting, and write something with a bit more color in it that I think better represents my style. I am going to submit the new and improved query to a predetermined number of agents. We will see what that brings.
Here's the thing: somehow in all this researching and querying and madly writing on the new novel, and rejections and ups and downs and sidewayses, I have forgotten that this is about writing, something that I love to do just for the sake of the act, just for the unbelievable feeling of creation, of making something that wasn't there before. I have written my entire life, long before I ever thought of this becoming a career. This is about the words. It is my firmly held belief that the audience will arrive, that whoever should read my stuff will. Content first, then everything else will follow, whatever may come.
I love writing. Would I like to get paid for it? Yeah. Would I like to have my entire life in upheaval because of it? No, I don't think so. I'll be patient, and take it slowly.
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