Insecure Writers Support Group – Bouncing Back From Rejection

“I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.”
― Billy Joel

A lot has happened since I last wrote here in August. September 5th I celebrated my 50th birthday, and so was out of town for the Insecure Writers Support Group. I hate missing it. I enjoy reading others’ blogs, and being able to share my own insecurities and fears.

Well, last I shared I had submitted a story near and dear to my heart to Glimmer Train Press. Usually, when I’m rejected from them, it happens quickly. They get something like 40,000 submissions and have two people who read them, so they have to be fairly speedy. But two weeks passed by and I still hadn’t heard anything, my story was still “in process.” (Yeah, I checked the status every day – lol.)

Finally, one day I checked, in a hurry and not even really thinking. It had been at least a month and I was getting my hopes up. When I read the status as “complete,” which meant basically “thank you for letting us read your story, but it’s not what we’re looking for at this time,” I felt . . . numb. I didn’t cry, I didn’t shout, curse, or any of those things. I felt really numb.

I posted on Facebook that my story had been rejected and many friends came forward to commiserate and to encourage me to resubmit the story immediately at other journals, other magazines. One offered to read it and make suggestions. The outpouring of support shook me out of my numb state and helped me see different perspectives.

It was, after all, one journal. Glimmer Train Press itself admits that it usually rejects people many times before it accepts something from them. They are not an easy journal. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad story.

I’ve already submitted it to two other magazines, and I’m thinking about looking at addiction journals, since it’s based on a true story.

I hope you are all doing well. Write on.

Peace out.

Feeling Terrified But Doing It Anyway

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, folks, and that means it’s time for a gathering of my friends in the Insecure Writers Support Group. Here we share our fears, our anxieties, our hopes and dreams. If you would like to join, just click here: Insecure Writers Support Group. We”d love to have you!

I did something this past month that terrified me. I submitted my short story, “Damaged,” to Glimmer Train Press. I wrote it, rewrote, cut some, rewrote it, and cut some more, until it was about 756 words (It was an entry for the Very Short Fiction Award, which tops out at 3k, but can be any length shorter).

Then I gave it to a good friend of mine, Bonnie, who will be forever in my debt, to crit for me. She told me what would work even better, and what didn’t work as well.

By the time I was finished, it was still flash fiction, and I was a little worried about submitting flash to a literary journal, you know? But here’s why I stopped being afraid. The story is the story. To add to it falsely just to make it fit into a mold you think it needs to be, cheats the story, and – that’s not right. Not right for me, and more importantly not right for the story.

I had shared the beginning of the story here with you all last month. It’s fictionalized, based on a true story. So I thought about using a pen name. Then I got braver and decided to use my real name when I submitted.

It’s been a full week and the status of my submission is “in process,” which means it hasn’t been rejected. In past experience, if Glimmer Train flat-out rejects a story, it gets done within the first few days. They’ll notify us by Oct. 1st, unless we’re one of the 1st,2nd, or 3rd place winners, in which case we’ll get an email or phone call the week before that.

Maybe I should stop checking my status every day. 😉

This has been a post for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Check some of the other writers out there, too. We’re a great group of people! And join us if you like. 🙂

Peace out.

Insecure Writers Unite!

Often I wish I were already famous, like Hemingway, or Fitzgerald. I wonder how they would have dealt with family problems. Would they let it stop their writing cold, or would they just plow full steam ahead, as if nothing had happened?

Last month was a difficult month for me. I got zero done on my WIP. I did start a new story. It’s based on truth, fictionalized of course. I’m including the very beginning of it here for your perusal and, of course, critique and comments.

Barter for a glass of vodka is like a highly-skilled hostage negotiation. I have nothing tangible to offer, no currency. There is nothing more valuable than what she clutches in her hands.

She looks up at me from hooded lids, slumps against the back of the couch, sits on a carpet stained with wine spills and holes where cigarettes have missed their ashtray. 

“Here’s the thing,” I venture. “How about I hold your glass for you just until we can get you on the couch and off the floor, then give it back to you?”

She mumbles something unintelligible but I think I hear the word “okay” somewhere which I mistake for compliance.

As I reach for the glass, she bends forward with it awkwardly, like a puppet on a string, careful not spill a drop.

“Julia, I promise to give it back to you. I promise.”

She still holds on. I know EMS will be here soon. I sit down next to her on the floor. 

That’s it. That’s all I have so far. Tear it up. Be as critical as you can. I am subbing this to Glimmer Train hopefully. It won’t have a happy ending, but I don’t think they always expect that.

I hope you are all doing well. Peace out.

~~~~~

This has been a post for the Insecure Writers Support Group, which meets the first Wednesday of every month.

Falling

NB: This blog used to be called K2together: Yarns and Words. If you came here looking for that, you are in the right place. 😉

Welcome to my first ever post for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Ahem. My name is Chris, and I’m an insecure writer. And, may I just say, I’m insecure about this post? I thought and thought and prayed and prayed about what I wanted to say this morning. Then I realized it was almost like Bonnie Friedman swatting flies in Writing Past DarkI was distracting myself from just writing the dang post by thinking about it so much and what your reactions to it might or might not be.

I keep a Where Is Taylor word count meter on my blog (you can see it you scroll down a little), even though it’s so totally embarrassing. Out of 63,000 words I’ve only written 2,154. And that’s after I dropped out of Camp NaNoWriMo for June.

Dropping out was actually a good decision for me, though. I thought I wrote well under pressure, you know? Like usually I do well with the November NaNo (unless I fall catastrophically behind), but this past November I wrote crap. I went back to read it recently, and I just cried. It was that bad.

So when I noticed that I’d fallen way behind on Camp NanoWriMo because of some family issues, I panicked. I knew I’d be pumping out that same kind of drivel again.

Instead, I just put my head down, went onto Write or Die for half an hour and wrote a little over 1k. This time, because I wasn’t under any pressure, not even of my own, it felt just like Bonnie describes it in her book, like I was falling into a dream state. I was descriptive, which is usually my prickly pear. I could feel Taylor developing in 3d while my fingertips touched the keys. It’s almost like . . . you know how you can feel the rest of the world just kind of “go away” when you get to that place in really good writing?

Yeah. I was there for a little over 1k. And I don’t think I can fall again. It rarely happens for me.

Usually I’m afraid to touch my writing because I want it to be something it can never be. I’d rather read and hide behind others’ words.

Peace out.

~~This has been a post for the Insecure Writers Support Groupwhich happens the first Wednesday of each month.