The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, April 20, 2013

With a Little Hindrance From My Friends

          This week we had our writing critique meeting. The meeting of five wild women wielding pens. The WWWPs.

          Three of us had submitted to the same anthology. Two of us had not heard (or so I thought) . Privately, a couple of weeks ago, I had told the more brazen of the other two of the submitters that I had already heard. I heard the next day--the day after I had submitted my story. Seeing the name of the anthology on an email that quickly was definitely surprising.

photo by mbgrigby

         The other writer-friend I didn't tell, until I knew she had sent hers in, as she is sometimes of the thinking, 'Well, they'll take yours and hers...why would they want mine?' But on Wednesday I discovered that my shy friend had indeed sent in her piece.

         It was then that I admitted that I had already heard. "They emailed me the next day. 'No,' they said. It stunk so bad, they had to burn rubber getting away from the stench--that's why they answered so quickly."

        When the shy submitter said she hadn't heard, I replied, "Well, that's a good sign, because apparently if they don't like it they move fast." Then I looked at the other one, and she had her hand over her mouth and had her head ducked down...like she was trying to hide from me.

          She had heard as well. They were considering her story. She said, "I didn't want to say anything because I knew you'd be mad."

          I wasn't mad, although I did shout out my favorite phrase in mock ticked-offness. But that was all a façade. I wasn't angry with her. Instead, I felt bad.

          Talking wryly about my rejections is something I do, right along with celebrating the times I get a "yes." And when my friends get their work accepted, I'm thrilled. If it's a publisher/editor that I failed at, I might throw a colorful phrase at the friend, but I'm never serious about it. Rarely am I emotionally invested in a piece to the point that I get furious when I hear "no" because I know that at some point, I'll change the piece and regurgitate it and then submit it to another publisher.

         So if you have any shouting-from-the-rooftop to do, let me know. My writing friends help me so much--either in person or via the blogosphere--and I never want to hinder or inhibit any of them.

         Ever.  

23 comments:

  1. I was told that the person with the most rejections wins - because they have submitted the most and have never given up...and I bet the stories you re-work for publication elsewhere do get accepted more often than not.

    A rejection of your story is not a personal rejection - it's just that your story doesn't "fit" their vision. It doesn't mean it's not a good story.

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  2. Kim--Yes, that's what I tell myself every time I get a "no." Waaah! ;)

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  3. HFFF you can spin a story, so you should be multi-published!
    Recycle that one, for sure.

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    1. I plan on it. Thanks for the encouragement, Linda.

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  4. Now I want to hear your favorite phrase.

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    1. Val--Can you guess it with one finger?

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  5. The key is to keep on keepin' on, Sioux. :-) I loved your guest post @ WOW. Pressed for time-did not comment there. And while I'm here, thanks for the recent follow at Pen and Prosper, and for introducing me to Ruthie Foster! :-) Have an awesome April.

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  6. Jennifer--OMG! Isn't she a "phenomonenal" singer!?!

    You are welcome. We just have to keep on plodding forward...

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  7. You're right on target Sioux. Like you, I'm happy when my writing pals get that "yes." I know my time will come and I also know that a "no" doesn't always mean the piece is poorly written, just not what the editor had in mind. The one thing I love about writers (the ones I hang with, anyway) is how supportive they are. If I had to choose one trait I've run into with writers, it's that one. Makes me proud to be counted in the group.

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    1. Lisa--I agree with you. The writers I associate with are extremely supportive.

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  8. Whispers from the rooftop, "I have a book of just my own poetry coming out soon."

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    1. Fireblossom--Really? Lean in closer and whisper a little louder...

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    2. It's all set, I just have to look over the proof copy and make any necessary tweaks and then it will be ready.

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  9. It's good you encourage fellow writers. The way I see it, with all the readers out there, there's plenty of room for everyone.

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    1. Sean--My grandfather used to say, "That's why there's six different kinds of pie in a restaurant." Every reader had different tastes, and yes, there is room for all of us writers.

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  10. Oh, where the heck have I been, missing all this good stuff? Well, I'm here now--and honestly, that's how it is in a critique group. You're happy as heck when your friends get accepted, and yes, there's that moment when one must mutter (or shout, depending on one's--ahem--personality), "Oh, pooh (or some variation thereof)," when one is NOT accepted. But yeah, you move on and send it out again. So good on you, Sioux.

    Let's see...there were other things I wanted to say...Oh! Snow! (That's why I live in the South) and Inner Critics (Boo, hiss! I can NEVER get any work done)and pimples and wrinkles (Mother Nature and her irony).

    Finally, I *was* missing my Sioux fix, but I think I'm caught up now, thank you very much. :-)

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    1. Cathy--Glad I could fix your need for a fix...

      What would my world be like if you had not decided to blog, Cathy? Not as rich and not as rollicking...

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  11. Your forgetting the stories you've reworked that have gotten accepted multiple times... same story, revised. Maybe your name can be Queen Revisioner. :-)

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    1. Lynn--People call me things, but it's usually not Queen...or at least Queen of anything positive.

      Yes, I'm good at shoveling it...

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  12. My favorite line that I think one of you actually used on me: "It was probably just too good for their publication." Yep, that's the ticket. And I love you WWWPs as well.

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    1. Tammy--It may be a ticket for your ride, but it's not true in my case. But thanks for trying...

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  13. Replies
    1. Donna--I'm learning perseverance from all the writers around me...writers like you.

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