Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Status of a Writer

Let's review the last, oh, two weeks:

-- Three major literary journals, one that starts with an O, absolutely love my nonfiction time after time, but once more it's still a no.
-- Place as a finalist in a poetry chapbook contest after years of trying to get some love for my manuscript, and many re-orgs. Maybe I finally got it.
-- One poem places as an honorable mention, another a finalist, in a contest.
-- Four rejection notes.
-- Three poems accepted for publication.

Some times I have to remind myself that, as bipedal humans, we perceive and experience the world as up and down. That is, as we walk we constantly rise and fall. This is maybe why I often feel dizzy if I'm not paying attention to where I am and where I'm going. Or, why I almost faint to and from the mailbox every day as I eagerly rip open SASEs.

Go read this little piece on rejections by Judith Kitchen--fun, true, sad, nice.

By the way, in two days I will have a cute little diploma I will sleep with. You can take that any way you want.

5 comments:

Sheila said...

Congratulations on the diploma! Every writer has stacks and stacks of rejection letters. It is a testament to our determination!

Les said...

I hope you are not considering going about on all fours just to change your perspective. Congratulations on your diploma and your lovely crabapples.

Pam said...

Grants are like that for me. One minute glowing reviews and a 'sorry, we'd love to fund it but our budgets are limited' to a 'good' review (in a world where only excellents get you there) to lukewarm reviews that result in a funded grant...in other words, I can't predict at all anymore. It's all about perseverance. Talent - sure - tenacity - a must.

But it's a tough way to go.

mlc said...

Thanks for sharing Judith Kitchen's little advice. I've always been a reader--and learned very early that reading is much easier than writing.

I am never at a loss for something to write about--it is the struggle to write the things in words that people love that is a dilemma.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Sheila--Well, I don't want any more rejections, testament to determination or not. Getting published is a testament too, right?
Les--I think a change of perspective is good. I'm often on all fours in the garden--it's far more interesting down there, and makes objects appear larger and more mature.
Pam--It's seems like so many things are like that. I dread my time to come soon when I'll have to write fellowship and grant proposals. Yuck.
MLC--I think someone will find something important and of solid personal value in most anything written down. Sure, there's "good" and "bad" writing, but when that connection is made between reader and writer it's like, well, fireworks. And worth more than gold.