Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Writing Woes and Winter Dread



November pushes on with some lovely days. People appear extra friendly in the stores and doctors’ offices, everyone appreciating what are probably our last nice days. Rain is forecast for tomorrow and then next week some freezes at night. I have closed down half of the deck, and today I emptied the fountain and turned over bird baths. I still have a few gently fading mums and loads of brilliant orange pumpkins and yellow squash sitting about. It is such sad work as it reminds me of winter coming despite the lovely sunshine and rainbow of leaves everywhere.

The last 48 hours have been a writing nightmare for me. You write, submit, get rejections and then do it all over again. It is the expected. Editors used to send out form rejection letters, but now so many just ignore you. One would think that with the effortlessness of email, editors could hit send on a rejection letter with ease. A form letter was cold and heartless leaving the writer wondering if editors even read their work. However, a form rejection was something in the hand saying “go forward somewhere else”

Now when a writer casts her work out in the world it is like tossing it down a black hole. Sometimes you never ever hear back. Then again some editors do still send form letters or form emails. Some are even kind enough to make personal comments on those quickie emails. But those editors who leave writers waiting at the other end for six months to a year sure make it hard to place work very fast.
This summer I worked hard with a very personable editor. He said my work was wonderful…but…. So I altered and resubmitted. Much better he told me….but…. Again I worked some lines over. Yep, the third edition got glorious praise for my work…but…  So I reworked another time, but I felt this alteration made the work less effective. I told him so but resubmitted it anyway for his opinion. Emails that had been flying suddenly stopped. No response…for weeks, months.

I submitted the work to a contest and heard nothing for while. Then a few days ago the first editor wrote out of the blue and said he changed his mind and planned to use the work. Then the contest announced I had a winning entry and would be printed. Oh mercy, my worst nightmare arrived as reality. What had I done? Would I go to jail for entering the contest falsely (not true, but it felt that way)? Would some editor think I had lied to them about the availability of my work? Would I lose out entirely and get two more rejections in the end?

Long story short, this all worked out today, but only after I had a minor meltdown. I am a Libra, born under the sign of scales, remember? Libras believe in balance, in fairness, and can see both sides of situations. It is a lovely way to be, but can drive you nuts too. I always try to do the right thing and treat everyone fairly. Again, the situation leveled out and with lots of kind words from the editors involved. I felt relief.


So I can begin to enjoy the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction about being accepted! Now, if I could just find a way to avoid winter! 

10 comments:

Patricia A. Laster said...

Just like winter always comes, so do rejections. Keep slogging thru the snow of no-hear editors--I am one, so I will be sure to answer each submission--I have never emptied my birdbath. I have birds all winter. I usually melt the frozen water if I see a bird anywhere around. Good thoughts well stated. Could you begin a WriteAllWinterAndComeOutWithAFirstDraftOfFive-ThousandWords??? LOL

Patricia A. Laster said...

FiftyThouandWords I meant to say.

Rebecca said...

Well, congratuLAtions!
And your November weather sounds like OUR November weather.
I'm totally bamboozled by the time change. I expect to be straightened out just in time for the next one.
(I admit it. I'm curious about how the double-acceptance thing worked out for you.)

Elephant's Child said...

Congratulations.
Certainly better late than never, but is would be very nice if editors kept to the professional standards they expect of the writers...

Linda O'Connell said...

Congratulations on your publications. Winning a contest doesn't pre lude the story from publication in another venue as long as it's not published there, too. Winter...bah humbug! I received jury summons.

Linda O'Connell said...

Congratulations on your publications. Winning a contest doesn't pre lude the story from publication in another venue as long as it's not published there, too. Winter...bah humbug! I received jury summons.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Congratulations! It worked out in duplicate! :) As a fellow Libra, I feel your pain, Claudia. I tie myself in knots trying to be fair, even down to making sure the cats have equal amounts of food in their bowls. My husband shakes his head. "They won't know if one of them has a teaspoon more than the other," he tells me. "But I will know," I say, and go back to being fair to all my fur babies. lol I haven't done any submitting lately as I've been tied up with my book manuscripts and the kids books I write for a Korean publisher (an educational market), as well as editing for other authors. But I do have a manuscript out to a couple of agents, and even though the work was requested, I've been hearing nothing but crickets for months. It can be very disheartening, but all we can do is march on and keep writing!

Donna Volkenannt said...

What a lovely dilemma. It's proof not only of how wonderful your work is, but also of how persistence pays. Glad to hear it all worked out for you. And here's to many more success stories.


Sioux said...

Claudia--Congratulations. I guess it's feast or famine?

Marylin Warner said...

As a Libra, Claudia--and also as an often frustrated writer--I recently learned of a better way to balance November writing goals. I had several writing friends who were excited about writing a full novel this month, but to me that seemed unrealistic, and also, I had several stories and articles that felt overwhelming to me, waiting on my desk.
Then I read on Sherri Matthews' blog, and almost immediately I read it on several other blogs as well, of NaNoReViSo. Instead of writing an entire novel, their goal is to use the month of November to work on, revise, improve, finish their projects. That is so much more in balance for me, so now that's my goal.
As one Libra to another, I hope we both can make this a relaxed, more hopeful and focused writing month! :)