I’ve been moaning to my writing gal pals (specifically Chris of Candid Canine and Jan of the newly launched Your Space and Time) how I’ve been on this awful rejection streak. It’s lasted like six months! (But it feels like a freaking lifetime!)
Last year, even with starting it off one-handed, sick from the chemo, and battling for my life, I somehow managed to write. It actually inspired me to keep going.
It was also one of my most productive fiction submission years since 2007. (I submitted 46 stories then. I did 29 last year, compared to only 10 in 2008! However, I did have some major life upheaval in 2008, so I do have to take that into consideration. Yet overall I was still down. In 2005 and 2006 I was submitting 50 and 60 pieces a year. In 2004 I did 80!)
Anyway, when I got the news I had cancer I did some soul searching and decided, as much as Wayne hates it and thinks I’m wasting my time and tries to discourage me with his pessimism, writing is my passion and not pursuing it denies my authentic self happiness. Which is just no longer acceptable.
So…I set out on a quest to write, write, write and submit, submit, submit during my good weeks. (Meaning, my non-chemo, wretching into my pukey bucket every five seconds weeks.)
I was on a roll until mid-August. With the exception of one flash at Flashes in the Dark, everything else was getting rejected. Or the publishers were going out of business. Or they flat just never responded period.
I got discouraged and decided to instead focus all of my energy on Haunt Jaunts.
I told myself I’d also work on Shadyside, my horror novel, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was suddenly gripped with not being able to handle the rejections.
Which has never happened to me. Rejections usually inspire me to try harder. Not this time. They were paralyzing me from acting. Both writing fiction and submitting.
But by the end of last year, I had that itch again. (And it wasn’t just from the case of Shingles I got! It was that itch to write.)
I’m never short on story ideas. I was getting more and more every day. The red book I store them all in was growing and growing.
I know Life can be cruel, but no way would my Muse be sending all these ideas if I wasn’t supposed to do something with them.
So, I resolved to get back on the horse. It throws me off again? Tough. Wipe off the dirt and get back on again. And keep repeating that process until I’m able to stay on that darn horse!
Well, what do you know?
Sylvia from Bylines, which I’d been featured in twice before, wrote with an acceptance congratulating me on my essay being included in this year’s calendar too! I had given up hope on that one because I usually hear back from her way before December. She’d had some Life challenges too which had caused a delay, but the calendar would still be released.
Woohoo! That was my first streak-breaker!
Then this morning I checked emails and had one from Lori at Flashes in the Dark. She was writing to tell me that my submission “Between the Wolf and the Dog” (my first one not just for 2010, but as part of my “Ride That Horse No Matter What!” campaign) would go live on January 18th.
Streak broken! Confidence reboosted. For now I have a grip on the reigns.
But if the darn horse bucks me off down the path, which I know it will, woo doggie, I’ll be ready to brush myself off, tend any bruises, and get back on it again. Yee haw!
Yep, that’s me. Cowgirl Courtie, saddled up and ready to ride in 2010!