I often feel like I’m in an unresolved quantum state of love/hate toward my own writing. It fluctuates so quickly sometimes that I can’t even read it. Nothing cures that like a rejection. Rejections magnify all faults and mute all positives. Now, maybe I can actually look at this story long enough to work on it. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the submission game, got to get used to this distressing waiting and constant disappointment again!
The hardest part of a rejection is waiting for it…
I’m at the point where it’s been long enough that I’m starting to think they might accept it. Which, if untrue, will make the rejection more sad than it usually is.
Also, I have to keep waiting before I can send it somewhere else!
Writing a story based in a city I’ve never been in is interesting, and fun. I wonder how writers did it before the age of the internet. I can drop down into the streets and virtually walk them to get a feel for the city. I can look up bars and restaurants and read reviews and see pictures. Some even have virtual tours.
I have a feeling writers of the past had to be much more social than I do. They probably had to seek out people who’d been there and have conversations with them, pull out details, encourage descriptions of smells and sounds and ambiance.
Sounds like a lot of trouble!
I feel like I’ve gained a new writing power–the power to do multiple things. I wrote two short stories in the past week, and went back to my novel without a problem. In the past, whenever I paused anything, even for a short while, to do something else, I’d lose all interest and never go back to it.
Now with this newfound power of retained focus, can I write two long things an once?? It remains to be seen, I’m not sure I am ready to try that yet… But at least I know now that it is safe to take a short story break here and there!
I accepted a random challenge to write a 75 word story about a duel at high noon… this is what I came up with:
No shadows. Sun sizzles on my scalp. Lips crack, skin flakes red. Eyes blink sticky. My tongue is a paper reproduction. Resist.
Cool crystalline water, ice snap popping, condensation beading near my hand. Dusty fingers, split knuckles–they are the cracked soil longing to absorb drops from the cool glass. Resist.
He wobbles. A tower tipping, head drooping, hand swaying. His fingers touch glass. Grip it, tip it. The ground drinks. He laughs. Still I resist.
I submitted that story I wrote on Thursday, to Fireside fiction. I fixed it up some and got a bit of feedback, but there isn’t much time as they are only open for submissions for a week at a time here and there. Excited to hear back from them! I have a good feeling about it.
It feels good to be submitting stories again, even if just here and there. I also sent an old story I rewrote to a couple places and have been rejected, but it still feels good to get back into it. Write, submit, repeat, get back to it!
I’ve written one for the first time in months, and all in one sitting–something i haven’t done in over 5 years. It was exhilarating, satisfying and gave me lots of brain endorphins–it also turned out really good!
How did this happen? I signed up on Thursday for a contest which had a deadline of Sunday night, and the penalty for not turning anything in was some severe mocking and embarrassment… so I wrote it that day. Deadlines work!
It felt very good to see my own improvement. The fact that I wrote a story in two hours that was actually not bad, and probably better than a lot of stuff i spent weeks writing years ago… it means I am definitely getting better at this.
I’ll let you know if I win (though in this contest really, the goal is just not to lose) but I feel I already have, because I wrote something!