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Embracing Rejection -- Part Two

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Embracing Rejection -- Part Two

Don't become a victim of your own success. But be sure you know what "success" actually is!

After a long spell in which I submitted nothing (see part one of this discussion), I began sending off my writing again. And almost immediately, I found an editor who wanted not one, but two of my poems. And the publication paid in actual dollars, not just copies!

And what does an author do when he or she finds this kind of success? Naturally, I questioned my judgment. Clearly I had aimed too low. Clearly there were greater things in store for me, and I only needed to reach for the stars. My biggest risk, I thought, is that I would sell my genius too cheaply. My work would appear in journals that were lesser lights in the literary universe, and these were not poems that belonged under a bushel basket in some university library.

And so, for a long while after that, I submitted only to the kinds of journals that I had once imagined beyond my reach, bu…

Embracing Rejection--Part One

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Embracing Rejection--Part One

When I first decided to write, I bought a typewriter (a Sears knockoff of the IBM Selectric I really wanted), and I went to work. In reasonably short order, I finished a short story and sent it off to a literary journal of some reputation. And it was--as you might guess--rejected.

No big deal, right? But I had no experience in this kind of thing, so I had no idea what to expect or how to prepare myself for what happened. And what happened was that the editor wrote a rather lengthy response to the piece, saying how much he liked much of it, but that he thought a key episode in the story seemed too far-fetched to be believed.

This was (as you know, and as I now have figured out for myself) a gift. I was close to success! But it didn't feel that way to me.

You see, the part he couldn't believe was the only part of the story I had actually drawn from my own personal experience. And so I dismissed the editor as an idiot, and I decided that the story wa…

New book in the works.

New book in the works.

A book is coming out early next year. Stay tuned for more details!