Dec 14, 2010

it's the little victories-

Writing is full of rejection. Rejection from agents. Rejection from journals. Rejection from readers. It seems that around every corner is another rejection, another disappointment. A story will be out on submission for months-sometimes even over a year-only to be turned down by an editor who "really liked it but not enough to publish it."
It's all very disheartening at times.
That's why, when there's a victory, no matter how little, it's an amazing thing.
Last year, when I had first moved to Korea, I was stranded in my apartment one Saturday, with nothing to do but write. I'd heard through the grapevine that there was a flash fiction horror story contest. The piece (no more than 1000 words) had to be themed around one of the four elements.
I sat down and wrote about fire. And cannibalism. It was my first venture into horror ever. The piece was either genius or crap. I couldn't tell. So, my breath held, I pressed SEND.
A day or so later I got an email from the editor. He loved it. Wanted to print it.
And I couldn't wipe the grin off of my face.
A few days ago (about a year after the acceptance letter) I received a package in the mail. Containing this:

My name was on the back, in tiny block letters. It meant that an impartial someone had read my story and loved it. It meant my writing was good enough to put into this book! It didn't matter to me that it was only available on Lulu, or probably only read by the other authors featured in the anthology! It was a symbol. A stepping stone. A glimmer of light through all the hundreds upon hundreds of hours of laborious, unrewarded work.
It's the little victories that give you the strength to go on, to keep writing through the avalanche of rejections. Keep slogging and one day you'll get there.

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