Here's the thing about writing.
You're going to write your heart out. Spill your entire soul through a slit you made in your wrist. You're going to fall in love with it, swoon over it, meticulously pick at parts of it that you know aren't right.
Then you're going to send it off into the world. And the world will write you back that it's not good enough. This is something I've always struggled with when it comes to my writing. When I read it to other people, they would tell me they loved it. After submitting my stuff to places for years, I began to wonder if I was actually any good at writing.
Now, I still feel like half of what I write is garbage. But I don't let those demons stop me from sharing it or submitting it places. But there was a time, I really did.
In 2015 I submitted to one place and one place only: my college lit magazine.
I thought I had it for certain. I thought they'd want at least one or two of the four or five things I submitted. All of my friends rejoiced as they started getting their acceptances into the magazine. I received a blanketed rejection.
You shouldn't let rejection kill your drive, in fact, you should let it fuel it, but in all honesty, I thought if I wasn't good enough for a college magazine that no one really read but the arts department, and all my friends were good enough, maybe I shouldn't be doing this.
Then, a year passes, we forget that we were ever in love, decide to love again, and take the big leap into the deep end of the pool one more time. I can't tell you why I decided to submit again. all I know is that it took me far too long to decide to.
This is the record of all the places I submitted to in 2016.
Please note all the one "Declined" and two "Completed" on the far left. The completed would also become declines, just in a mass sent out email kind of declined.
(Which are honestly the worst kind of declines).
Then came 2017. I had found more confidence in my writing, as I was dating someone who was also a writer. I was writing more than I ever had, so I began submitting to places again.
Below is the outcome.
Side Note: Withdrawn means that 1 month ago, I finally withdrew Any Given Friday from Badlands Journal because if they hadn't responded to me in 2 years, they probably don't have that great of a literary circulation.
2017 was the year I sat down to really write my book, so I honestly wasn't work on much else. I started to dapple in trying harder to get published, mostly because after sharing my poems online people really encouraged me to.
And then came 2018 when I decided I just didn't care.
I think a lot of what I write is garbage, but I do think my book is pretty great. I have a better chance of getting my book published if I have been published in other places so I set out to get published.
Before you get to the photos, I want you to know that the moral of the story here is that I got another rejection today and it stung a little. More than that though, the first thought that ran through my head was, "Damn, I really need to submit to some more places."
I know for writers starting off, the rejections is one of the hardest part. Sharing your work is hard, but it's one of the best things you can do for yourself and I hope you know you're not alone. Even with 13 rejections try and remember the 3 acceptances you did get. Try and remember when you had 0 acceptances.
And if you haven't been accepted anywhere yet, this is the reminder that your writing isn't trash, you just haven't found the right space for it yet.
Don't give up.