Being a writer comes with a lot of negatives. From people continuously asking how you’re going to make money to people asking you to show them every draft you write before you’re ready.
But by far the worst part of pursuing writing is rejection. This can come from peers or publications. I’m in the midst of sending out my stuff and hoping that it will find a home in any publication. I’ve got a list that I’m working through for literary magazines. But I’ve recently slowed down in sending out my work because all I’ve gotten back is rejection.
This could mean a couple things. I could not be picking the correct literary journals to send my stuff to in terms of time and what they’re looking for. The pieces could just be bad and I need to edit them before I try sending them out again.
But it doesn’t matter in that primal part of my brain. According to that part of my brain, I have been screwing up and that even if I write my best I won’t get published. That’s not true. I’m young and I have time to chase down that life dream still.
What do you do when you just can’t seem to get ahead in writing and publishing?
You keep writing. One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned over the years is that I have to keep on keeping on. When I’ve been rejected, I try to turn the energy into something that will let me keep moving forward. I use it to fuel creation in the best possible way.
That email isn’t a signal to sit down and feel sorry for myself. It’s a signal to do some more writing and to find a new story, a new poem to work on. Or maybe it’s to find an old poem or story to revisit and try to work on again.
It’s a signal to work, to persevere.
So if you’re writing and someone, anyone tells you that you’re doing poorly or that you’re a bad writer, just stop and take the time to prove them wrong. Keep working on those stories you love.