Oh boy! The last couple of weeks have been bursting rejections for me and mine. For me, that’s business as usual. For a few of my friends, it’s a sudden drop off from a successful couple of months. Either hurts; both require a deep breath and an “okay, what’s next?”
While I’m glad for the company—its hard to be joyful and not jealous sometimes, or rather, show the joyful without letting the jealousy slip when a creative friend is having lots and lots of success, and it’s never difficult to commiserate with a friend who is a creative genius and deserves far more—my preference is we all exit this slump soon.
Which means try try again. Which is sometimes uplifting—look at me, believing in myself and dreams—and sometimes “here we go AGAIN.” Thank the heavens for the tenacity I lack when trying to give up sweetened coffee shows up for the next round of story submissions.
But me being the pick-myself-apart artist I am, I’m to doubt or misread my tenacity too. Maybe, I suck as a writer and I’m not seeing the Obvious Truth. All my beta readers are just being nice. Slush readers are posting excerpts of my crimes against prose in secret forums. Editors get together over cocktails and laugh at my latest works. Isn’t funny how self-deprecation also involves an egregious amount of self-aggrandizement. As if editors or anyone really are stopping what they are doing to talk about me.
And look at that, I’ve self-deprecated my self-deprecation. I am both multi-layered and containing multiples. Anyways, the point I’m trying to discuss in between everything being about me, is that when all the writerly advice stresses tenacity and try-try again, and you’ve been tenacious and over-trying, it’s way too easy, to look inward and start chopping away.
I want to scream at myself, don’t chop! But then another part of me is like, but maybe you need to. We’ve all had the completely self-Unaware writer in our workshops. Producing drivel at a prodigious rate. Proud of their meh and full of snark for the editors and agents that passed on them. What if I’m closer to them than I believe. What. If.
Or what if, I stop shoving that crap down my own throat. What if I realize my writing is a work in progress and to muddle the situation further, there’s a lot of subjectivity from a lot of other people involved. My path will have to good enough until actual signs appear that I should change direction or, better yet, someone says, I’ve been waiting for someone to trailblaze through here.
Crossed fingers, right.