For you beginning writers out there, who, perhaps have always loved to write, but never made it into a career, and now you find yourselves in your late 20s without a published novel (a thing that seemed impossible when you were younger), and you are stuttering along trying to get back that magic thing called imagination in your writing, and the most terrifying thing you can think of is actually sending something in to get published, because you feel like that first rejection is going to say that you aren’t really a writer and you might as well give up? Yeah. That’s me. Which I am sure you guessed less than halfway through that run-on sentence.
So, here is my solution – which I did last month and I am going to do this month. Submitting to Writer’s Digest contest “Your Story”, which, as the only free contest they hold (I think), makes it feel like so much less of a rejection when your story or sentence or whatever it is isn’t selected. Because can you even imagine how much hundreds, perhaps thousands, of submissions they receive? So it seems like a safe baby step. And yet, I still agonize over what I am going to submit. Despite the fact that this current contest is all of one sentence – the opening sentence in a story – all of the sudden, it seems like the most important sentence I could possibly write. As I reject try after try.
Man, what I wouldn’t give for those days when I could look at anything, and I mean ANYTHING, and create a story out of it. Right down to a nick in a tree being stepping stones for fairies.
Well, I guess the only way to reach that point of imagination again is to keep practicing, right? Try and try again.
Stupid writing contests. One day, I won’t be afraid of you.