Sometimes it’s all dried up, and there’s nothing to say. And sometimes, even though my creative writing is non-existent, the other words are just begging to come out.
I guess you could call this post a continuation of the one I finished yesterday. When I was done writing, I believed I had said all I wanted on the subject of quitting.
But part of that was “wait a day and something is bound to change.” So here it is, a new day, and some new developments and all of a sudden there’s more I want to say.
What are the new developments? I’m short, it’s just more rejection in my inbox. More “red” on my Submittable page (and sherbet orange on my tracking spreadsheet). But not just any rejection. It’s the dreaded Rattle rejection.
If there’s one journal I covet, it’s Rattle. If it’s one contest to win (or even place in), it’s Rattle and as such, I put ALL my best eggs in that basket this year. So waking up to 12–yes twelve—rejected poems (4 poems in each of 3 submissions) is a punch to the gut.
It makes me want to quit. As I said, the creative writing has dried up and with each rejection I’m losing confidence in the pieces I’ve worked so hard to create, revise, and polish. They must all be trash.
I mean, I get the top tier places are tough to get into. I get that the competition is stiff and that there’s so much incredible work out there to share. But good golly. Can I just get one break?
There’s got to be an editor out there at some place who will find the value in my work. I mean, there has been, but I’m talking about these more reputable places.
“Thanks but it’s not a fit” has got to be the worst fucking thing ever. What does that even mean “not a fit?”
Ok, at least Rattle’s rejection is basically a submission status update letting all the people know of the contest results. So they don’t use words like “sorry” or “not a fit” or whatever.
Places that include the word sorry are so irritating. Please don’t say you’re sorry because I think that’s disingenuous. I don’t think you are sorry when you sent out a form rejection en masse to 50 or 100 different people.
I’m responsible for declining submissions for my lit mag too. But people are already prepared for what it is, so I won’t sugarcoat it. I thank them. I wish them well. If the work was good, I let them know we liked it and I hope they send more. That’s it. Short and to the point.
I know the game. I understand the grind. And it’s no different than any other industry where you are trying your damnedest and still fail. After a while it’s disheartening and yes, even makes a person feel like quitting.
Which brings me back to the topic of quitting. I can wait a day or two and see how I feel, but for right now, today, I’m done. I need to be done. The bridge is not on fire but I’m getting off anyhow. The view from somewhere else is probably better anyway.
So that’s it. The real conclusion to the post about quitting. I’m done submitting my work to publishers and am going to ride out what’s out for consideration until everything from this year comes back.
I’ll put my precious time and effort elsewhere. Maybe actually read a book or start enjoying life more. Wouldn’t that be something?!!
I’m going to wrap this up with two additional links. Because even as I quit, I have to remember all that I have done and am still doing. The first is to look back and celebrate the success I’ve had already:
My award-winning poem on the Academy of American Poets website, This
And one to look forward to the next noteworthy event.. Reading at a gallery exhibition opening this Friday which I was asked to participate in to represent the UNO MFA program:
Gallery 1516 – UNO School of the Arts–Faculty & Staff Exhibition
OK, that’s really it today. Hopefully, I’m done with “quitting” for a while.
Peace and love,