Monday, April 8, 2013

Thick Skin = Rewrite Again

Recently I received a rejection email for a short story I had submitted.  I won't lie, I cried a bit inside.  Not because I was rejected, I had a feeling I would not be chosen, but because it is a project that I had become very close to and knew I did not submit my best work.  In short, I feel like I let the project down.

To be fair, I only knew about the project a few days before the deadline so I did not have any time to re-write/edit the piece.  Looking back, I should have skipped this round and waited for the next.

The rejection email was fairly standard and to the point.  I know there were a lot of submissions and expected nothing more.  I replied with a thank you, and that I was just happy to submit.  To my surprise I received a fantastic reply encouraging me to submit in the future.  I will.

Some would take the rejection email and let it fester inside.  Not me, I took it as an opportunity to re-write my short story and take it into a different direction.  A direction I had originally intended it to go.  I must say that the final product is now something that I am proud of.  I wish I would have had the time to submit this version, then again...why look back?

While re-writing the short story, I came up with an idea for a flash fiction sub.  I am actually pretty happy with it, and hope to see it accepted.  It is a 500 word piece about the danger of waking for a midnight snack...and yes...there is bacon involved.

Currently, I have four short stories out there awaiting rejection/acceptance.  One has been out there for a while, it is for a vampire themed sci-fi anthology that I really want to be part of.  The short that I submitted is something that I am VERY happy with, I am just worried that it is not sci-fi enough.  The other three are the rewrite, the bacon themed flash fiction, and a short about an alien on a dystopian earth.

Although I am no where new to writing, I am new to submitting my work for publication.  There was a time that a rejection would have discouraged me.  As I have grown, I now take rejection as a positive motivator.  Rejection does not necessarily mean that my submission was bad, it could just mean that it was not the right fit for the project.  However, it always offers an opportunity to better the piece.

To be a writer, or any form of artist for that matter, thick skin is a must.  Not everyone will like your finished product, and sometimes you need to realize that the story, in general, was a horrible idea.  However, use that thick skin as a shield and deflect the negatives, leaving only the positives to add an extra layer of motivation.

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