crazy / depression / novels / Work / writing

Little Wonder Writers Booze It and/or Lose It

It’s been a weekend of intense contemplation/introspection (and halfarsed grading, so not in the mood for it). I’m on my 20th rejection for my novel (18 for the query and sample chapters alone, two for the novel itself), my 4th for the science fiction story I’ve been marketing. The editors involved with the antho. I’d really been aiming it for offered a nice rejection yesterday:

After reading and discussing it, we’ve decided that while we enjoyed it, we can’t use it for the anthology. It really was a very good story. Unfortunately, there is limited space so we can’t choose them all.”

I should’ve paid attention. They’d a large number of confirmed authors for the collection, and I honestly think the submission call was for a bit of insurance. Filler, if you will. I’ve done a little newspaper and magazine work. I understand the need for “filler.” In retro, filler isn’t what garners readership. It’s the confirmed names that do. Hugh Howey was on that list. I loved Hugh Howey’s Wool, and I read his writing blog off and on as it’s interesting to hear his stance on the future of publishing. Hell, I would read the anthology simply because of Hugh Howey, thus proving my point.


Still, that was a better rejection than the 20+ standard form rejections I’ve received over the past month and a half.

Still, it’s always deeply depressing as fuck, no matter how par for the course rejection is for writers (and artists of any sort and job hunters and serial daters and American Idol contestants). I’ve done this sort of thing during the maniacal screenwriting years. Had some minor bites, dealt with shady agents and managers, projects that came and were tossed without my knowing, but I quit it all when I was focusing on my own stark reality, like working hard to enter a “noble” profession with decent pay (for a singleton without kids) and benefits.

It’s just made me question my intent here with this masochistic endeavor. I’ve had these inner conversations before. The ones where I wonder what the hell I’m doing, where the hell I’m going, why the hell did I decide to return to a dream that had long since decayed. In short, my mother had something to do with this renewed attempt. My mother, who would never know this, ever, because she’s dead. My mother, who’d loved that I had a “hobby” but never once expected it to become anything more than that.

The fact that my mother is gone is, perhaps, the very reason I’ve come back to this. It’s my therapy. It’s also my race to see what I can possibly do before my time is also up. Quite often, I feel like I have nothing and will leave nothing for the future. I have no progeny, no legacy. I will leave no mark, no trace of my existence apart from the material. Of course, my job may or may not prove that wrong, but I don’t know unless I see end results, and students quite often forget once the degree’s in hand.

The entirety of the next month is solely dedicated to this, thus far, fruitless endeavor. Got an antho. in the works with a friend, which will keep us busy (LOTS to read! A proposal to create). Have a couple of other ideas wiggling around up there. I’ve set a personal goal in that if I don’t get anywhere with the novel by the end of 2015, I’ll self-publish it. I just want readership. All I’ve ever wanted to do was entertain someway, somehow, via writing. I hate that it’s taken me so long to come back to this (painful) experience.

Maybe though…Maybe things will change in the next couple of months.


15 thoughts on “Little Wonder Writers Booze It and/or Lose It

  1. Why the industry is so hard to break into I don’t know. Seems like plenty of novels get through only on the basis of being something they can market the crap out of (Twilight for example), and more often than not those books are junk. Don’t give up. Got something to share then you got to keep at it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also understand the pain of rejection and they say we writers need a thick skin. My sister thinks I’m more afraid of success than failure, and someone else said the same thing to a degree, years later. I couldn’t get past the first pages of Fifty Shades, forget the content, I had problems with the quality, but I’m always happy for new published authors. It is sad that it’s a business, because there are so many great writers here and you are definitely one of them. Check out all the best selling authors on

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a theory that writing, as with any art/form of expression, needs to find the “right” person, and that person is the turning point when it comes to publication or any form of “success”(whatever the writer’s goal is at the time). It’s just frustrating when you’ve no idea who that person may be. Maybe though, your sister is right in that there are those of us who are worried about the Big After of success. I don’t know, some weird internal block, so the rejections become almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. Who can say? I still stand by my claim though. I really think EL James (?) happened to meet the “right” person to get her garbage into readers’ hands. Anyway, thank you so much for reading and for the response, from one writer to another (and I love the lit rejections site as well…good therapy).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Being a writer can suck. We deal with rejections, nasty critiques, and nastier reviews. So why do we persevere? Because we can’t not write. Consider submitting to small presses. Trying to break into the NY scene is too depressing.

    Good luck
    Diane IWSG #99

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and the empathy. Frankly, I’ve not even touched the NY larger presses, mainly because one needs an agent to do so anyway. I have been agent-querying on the advice of well-meaning successful authors, but I think they’ve grown jaded and have forgotten just how rocky it really is out there.


  4. At least you know they liked it, so hopefully the story will find a good home elsewhere. Rejections can be extremely disheartening. I’m kind of in this place where I’m doing this whole weighing of time and energy thing with the my writing, where it’s like low return on high investment and – why am I doing this again? Thanks for sharing your feelings. I think I know exactly where you’re coming from.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU for reading. I think we all have the same goal in mind — We write what WE want to read, and we kind of sort of hope that there are others like us out there who like reading the same thing. A commonality. It bonds us. Of course, it would be really nice if there was some compensation to go with what we enjoy crafting. After all, it’s as you mentioned, “low return on high investment” (and time!). Don’t stop though. Do you have a blog?


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