Rejection and Going After It Again, Wondering If I’m Just That Bad

I’ve had a short story going around for only about a month now. It’s been rejected five times now. I’m not sure if I need to fix or if I’m just sending it to people who don’t want Steampunk right now because all I get back are the generated “thanks but no thanks” emails. My professors said that sometimes they people who reject you will tell you why and give you feedback. That’d be nice but without it, I’m going to assume the story is fine and is just written in a difficult genre that no one in the mainstream wants to read. One day, I think Steampunk will be popular, just not yet. Despite the millions of creative outlets it has.

So imagine how utterly down I feel now when I read this story from one online magazine I submitted to and think it’s probably one of the worst micro fictions I’ve read. Then I read that the author was the one who beat me out of the Simon451 contest too and is having his book published. I scratched my head and wondered, “Why do people publish this stuff?” My blogs are not fancy or poetic, but I’d like to think my short stories are pretty good. I can’t say, “Yes, they’re prize winners!” because I’m not sure. I just write what I like and what matters to me in the best way I can with attention to what may be “good” writing.

Sometimes I whine too much because I feel like I used to back when I would go swimming in the ocean. No matter how hard I swam against the waves and the current, I couldn’t ever get back to where I had started out. No matter the effort, no matter how much I nearly passed out from lack of air, I could never get back to the same point. I was too small and the ocean was too strong. Not that I’m not a good swimmer, I am. I’m just not an athletic swimmer. So because I am not that swimmer I could not win.

I have class tonight and I’m going to make the best out of it. I’m going to learn what I can and hope that one day I make it. I have plans, I have dreams, and all I can do is what I’m sure some other writers like me have done: Keep writing. I don’t want anything I do to be a waste. I think I’m a good writer and I love what I write. To those of you like me out there–grad students, baby writers, dreamers–stay with me on this one. We’ve got this.

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October Inspiration

Photo by @matylda

Photo by @matylda

I realized with horror last night that my finals for this semester are in December. I tried to look back and see what I’ve learned and my heart sank when I found that I had not thought I’d learned a lot.

But that’s not true. I’ve learned a plethora of amazing things. So then I thought maybe I’ve just not gotten enough done. True, I have projects for school that are lagging behind but that’s because the program I’m in is only in it’s second year ever. It’s very new and I’m enjoying being part of the growth of this university’s new program. I think the reason I’ve felt like I’ve not completed enough is because I had too high of expectations for this first semester. I wanted to have a full time job, be cranking out projects, burying myself in homework–everything a very studious student should be doing. Now, I know some of my fellows are drowning in work. But those are the second year students who have TAs that I wish I had.

So really, what I’ve learned this semester is that I have time to work on other things. I should not lose this time to wondering what I’m missing out on and go out and create things to do. So I have. I have found a call for chapters to write for, a call for papers to write for, and am still on the hunt for freelance gigs when I have time to sit and search for them.

I am doing my best to not feel like a waste. I know things will pick up and I will soon feel left behind. I suppose that since I’m a creative writer and used to being an undergrad with papers due every week, I feel lazy not writing 1000+ words a day and freaking out about due dates. Soon, though. I have no doubt. I thrive in work environments with things to do. So until then, I will look for work and ways to better myself.