Thursday, 25 July 2013

Rejection feels like being crumpled up

Image: Turinboy/Flickr as used here:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/08/crumpled-paper-physics/
Last time I blogged about that wonderful feeling I got when I was writing. I had a short story in mind - that in the mean time has suggested it might have more potential as well - and I felt so calm, happy and serene after it was done.

Today, I'm going to confess that I feel absolutely bummed after hearing that this same short story didn't make the cut in the contest I had actually written it for. It made me feel all crumpled up, as if I had been a piece of paper. Hence the image. (Note that it doesn't feature a waste paper basket. That's very intentional.)

I'm not sure how many entries there were for this short story chicklit competition, but I imagine there were quite a few. Perhaps writing about a girl who discovers she's pregnant during an awkward family barbecue (where the news is accidentally outed for everyone to hear) just wasn't the type of story they were after. That's what I tell myself.

Because I don't really believe that the story itself was all that bad. I'll try to enter it into some other contest or something - I mean, why not, right? - or just post it on my own website at some point. I'm still bummed and a little hurt, but I must remember that it was a wonderful thing just writing it. Just getting it out of me and onto my screen, into my computer. I created a story, I polished it up a bit and it's done. So what if they rejected it for reasons they won't share? I'm sure the contest is geared towards some unspecified goal for which a story about a pregnancy test just isn't suited.

I think I'll cut myself a deal: I get to sulk for a little bit longer, on these conditions:
a) I will try to enter it into a different competition if I can find one (it's a story in Dutch)
b) I will think of a follow-up story with the same character, because that's what I want to do
c) As soon as I'm no longer swallowed whole by my deadlines, I'll get back to writing, this and other projects, just because I can.

There will be other contests. In fact, I've entered my "Literary Vampire" (see a previous Flash Fiction post) for Noree Cosper's Monster Menagerie and it's up on her site now. I don't expect to win anything, but I'm glad to see it's up there and I hope that means other people will read it too (and follow me on Twitter). It's all good!

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