I recently came to an important conclusion. It’s one that a lot of people probably already get, but some times, I can be a bit slow. You see, in my quest to turn these stories that have been filling up my hard drvie into published works, I’ve been getting very caught up in expectations. At first, I found myself very excited by it all. I thought about how it would feel to have my book on the shelves of bookstores and libraries. When I heard an anthology I was submitting to was going to feature an author I admired, I thought about how great it would be to have my work featured alongside her’s.
And then the rejections started rolling in.
Now, I get that this is part of the process. That authors hear the word “no” many times before they get to a “yes.” That doesn’t make the disappointment any easier to swallow. So, in interest of protecting my fragile ego, I decided to submit everything with the assumption that the response was going to be a rejection. Unfortunately, I really wasn’t made for pessimism. After a while, I found that whenever someone asked how things were going, my response would be annoyed grumbles. I began to ask myself what the point of it all was. Why submit to agents and online magazines when the answers were only going to be rejections?
I was bitching about this on twitter the other day when I came to an important realization. Putting my expectations at rock bottom wasn’t helping me either. Clearly, I needed to put the emphasis back on the positive, only this time I was going to make the positive the writing. I really enjoy the writing process, even revisions, something that I used to dread. So instead of anticipating any kind of response (yays or nays), form now on I’ll just focus on telling good stories, and hope that the rest of the world will jump on when it wants to.
This also leads me to wanting to improve my writing, so I can tell better stories. I’ve been thinking about checking out writing books, but I’m not really sure of where to start. I see that Chuck Wendig has some interesting looking ones, as do several other authors. If anyone has any good suggestions on where to start, that would be great. Oh, and I’ve already read “On Writing” by Stephen King, which is a fabulous read.