Writing and the Abuse of Seeking Acceptance

People who like me and often read my casual observations on a blog or other short-quip situation tend to find me funny. I’m accused of being entertaining. I live my life, one day to the next, imagining it in bursts of “how can I write this as a live-journal(ie: blog) entry”. I love to write.  I love to imagine myself as a writer.

A few years ago, one of my greatest friends and a love of my life decided to go to school… For writing. He helped me realize that my idea of writing was laughable, and I could never accomplish my dreams by waiting for someone to critique my blog. After his advice, I took a little ‘adult’ writing seminar that poked some serious holes in the work I had managed, but also inspired me to write a ‘short story’ that I thought wasn’t too bad. The instructor and classmates gave me some feedback; I edited, and I heard “It’s ready to publish. You should definitely submit it to ‘this publication’.”

I sent it to the specific publication the instructor recommended, imagining that she might have some insight (in April), and then… Eventually.. 4 months later. Another place I found randomly and thought might be interested.

I received a rejection notice from the second place, the one I had submitted as a ‘long shot’, earlier this week. I was just not good enough, not what they wanted. It was an e-mail, but they at least mentioned the name of my piece.

24 hours later, I got a rejection from the first place I had submitted back in April. Despite the return postage I included to return my rejected work, they sent only a half-page form rejection, using the whole postage… But with an assurance that if I hadn’t sent enough postage, they had at least recycled my submission. As though that were a favor.

What amuses me about this deluge of rejection is that, despite having made the submissions 4 months apart, they both appeared within 24 hours.

I am a wanna-be writer. I read the wanna-be writer bullshit. (I’m pretty sure that half the literary magazines survive because someone, somewhere will do anything they need to to be a ‘published’ writer’.) I have a blog. It’s self-published, and the readership is dull. [I couldn’t get my own mother to bother reading the ‘final’ version of my article submission, though I can go to her house and tell her my stories, and she will tell me to go home and write it in my journal for her to read.] She’s actually dead now, so I don’t have that fun option.

My husband can’t be bothered to read the first chapter of my novel. He tried once – he fell asleep. I watched, cos I’m dying for feedback. He couldn’t do it.

I took another class with the same instructor, and met some incredible people. One was an old-time editor whom I thought was a multi-published author (and may well be, but finds it easier now to let Amazon do the publishing) and another that seemed like she was good but just starting, but I find that a local magazine hasn’t just published her, they /mostly/ publish her, because she is their golden reporter…

I’m completely out of my league. All the shit I sent got rejected – in 24 hours, no less. I “know” a sheaf of rejection letters is supposed to be the mark of a writer. I’m supposed to suck it up and just ‘revise and keep submitting’. I need to save them as inspiration, revise and keep trying. I get that.

Actually, I don’t.

I’m so upset .

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