(This was written a few weeks back, in the middle of the ‘overlord’ series. I’m mostly down off this, but still disappointed. However, I decided to post it up, just in case some other writer who feels the same way finds fellowship. And why would I want them to quit? I don’t want to be the only one who gets hammered like this.)
I don’t feel like writing tonight.
I got fucking rejected.
A while back I got a request for stories from a publisher I’ve have contacts with before – a call for submissions. It had to be a historic piece. I thought about it for a bit and came up with a great idea for a moment in time when people faced chaos. That lead to a week of mentally plotting out the action, coming up (and getting to know) my characters, and researching the time, the people, the events and technologies..
And then I wrote it up – 6000 words, not a short effort.
And after that, I came home from Thanksgiving dinner (always a little low-key stress), watching an episode of Pillars of the Earth (wouldn’t that be cool to have your book made into a miniseries). I knew I had to post up my prepped “Evil Overlord” piece and maybe kick out another review. Like fish, writers live by moving forward.
But when I booted up my computer, there was the rejection letter. It was nicely worded and full of praise, just not enough praise. Better than “no thanks” I guess, but it was just another long drive towards fire than ended with a candle’s snuff.
I just read it. Reread it. Saw my future go from one shining mainline path to – cluncka-clunk – being switched to Writer-Wannabe siding.
I didn’t want to post on my occasionally-read blog. I didn’t want to help another writer by reviewing a book and maybe direct some sales to him. I didn’t want to do any of that.
But I sat down and did all those things. Wrote a nice review. Posted up the second overlord piece. And even though I didn’t feel like it, I wrote this. Why? Because I don’t feel like it. As I said, Fuck. I got rejected. And its a terrible feeling. And this really doesn’t help – no, I don’t feel a rising happiness that will explain away the hurt. There isn’t any writer’s satisfaction that overcomes the angst of another stillborn short story. All I know is this is the point where some people quit. This is the moment where other writers just say “Fuck” and shut off their computer and let their site expire and commit their stories to long-term backup.
But not me.
…not yet, anyway.