Rejection, Reassurance, and the Writing Group

Hmmm…there’s that feeling I’d been missing since I hadn’t written many short stories recently. The awesome feeling of REJECTION!!! (Da da dum!!!) That would be four in the last two weeks, three of which are right back out there, and one of which is in the revision factory. If you add that the Abigail Rath rejections, it’s been a…well, it’s been a typical writer’s year for my writing. Because rejection is the name of the game.

The rejections have been nice rejections. People know me. People are nice to me about my submissions and my writing. In two cases, the stories have gotten praise, but the available slots are few, and I knew that going in. In one case, the story was actually lost, and my long game of waiting did not pay off. And in the final case, rewrite suggestions, which is why this story is back in the hangar.

There have been times when it’s worn me down. Even when rejection is punctuated by acceptance, writers focus more on rejection. And you have to figure out that the alignment of the planets (your story) with the sun (an editor’s tastes and needs) and the moon (whatever other factors you can think of to throw in there, like did they just buy a story like that, or do they hate that particular kind of thing, or did you have typos in your letter, or did the editor have a bad burrito experience), well, all of this makes it any wonder that anything gets published ever. So it goes.

You might remember my hearty essay on not giving a damn. What I’m finding pretty helpful right now is the value of not writing in a vacuum. I have great readers who are supportive and reassure me when the need is there. I hope I can do the same for them. Becoming a published writer is not immediate gratification, and it’s good when you have people in your corner, because lots of things about publication are capricious.

So, shout outs and kudos. And yeah, still just doing the best art that it can. These circulating stories have legs. It’s a matter of time.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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