Tuesday, 2 November 2010

It's the gom jabbar

Another day, another rejection. Some would ask why I bother; it isn't as if I've got any proper success yet.

Ah, I say to these people (generally in an annoyingly high-pitched tone of voice), but you forget: persistence is the answer to the world's ills. Just as a persistent striker will eventually discover a chink in a defence's armour, there will at some point be an opening for a writer such as myself to get his first professional publication.

Persistence and not giving up is also important from a confidence perspective. Some people get a rejection and instantly think it's because they're not good enough, never will be good enough, etc. This isn't the case. Maybe that particular story genuinely wasn't good enough (and if you're a particularly young writer it's fairly likely to be the case, just from a lack of maturity and range in your writing), but often it's the case that it isn't the publication's style, the publication takes only the very, very best (I'm thinking Clarkesworld here - an outstanding magazine, no doubt about that, but the bar really is too high for most first-time writers), the publication is full for this month...

If you give up after receiving a rejection then you've failed the biggest test that befalls a hopeful writer. Again, this is a problem more for the younger end of the writing spectrum. Confidence is so important for a young writer, and a rejection really can knock the belief right out of you. Just think of what I said above. And also read the rejection letter/email itself. Chances are it will be form, but it'll encourage you to write elsewhere and submit again. It'll give a list of potential reasons for the rejection.

Don't fall victim to the writing gom jabbar. Keep your self-belief high by constantly submitting and resubmitting stories. When amendments are suggested (even if it is by a pretentious pillock of an American spouting psychobabble - not bitter at all...), make them and submit elsewhere. It's a long, frustrating process, but it'll happen in the end. Think positive. You're not a bad writer.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a rewrite to make on a short story. And then I'm submitting it elsewhere. Unlike others, I haven't failed the writing gom jabbar and I'll try until I'm successful.

1 comment:

  1. Great attitude, sir. :) Way to keep on keepin' on.