Friday, June 1, 2012

The Upside of Rejection and the Downside of Cannibalism

Oh, hey, it's June already.

I still feel like I’m only orbiting the blogosphere at a distance, accomplishing much less reading, commenting, and (especially) posting than usual, but at least I seem to be in good company. Late spring seems to be a common time for bloggers to either burn out or step back a bit so that they don’t burn out. And there’s nothing wrong with taking in some fresh air and sun, especially if the only light you’ve seen this winter is the weak glow of your computer screen. (Just don’t forget your Extra Strength Sunscreen for Writerly Hermits).

Fortunately my short story writing has stayed productive, including 2 new submissions and 3 resubmissions this month. I’m still not ready to take on the weekly Write 1 Sub1 challenge (hats off to you crazy Bradbury clones), but it feels good to meet my monthly W1S1 goals with room to spare.

While I’m still receiving mostly rejections, they’re starting to get personal… in a good way. It’s amazing how encouraging a little “P.S. Almost” at the end of a form letter can be. Even better was a rejection letter that said my story had made it to the final round and included a list of different editors’ comments, which boiled down to: “very well-written but a bit too creepy for us; please submit again, but something without cannibalism next time.” It was immensely encouraging, because now I know that my writing has improved and I just need to be much less creepy  submit my darker stories to different markets (and maybe wait until there aren't so many real life news stories about crazies trying to eat people, because it's actually getting rather disturbing out there).

Of course I’d ultimately rather see my name in print (and on a check :-P) than receive a nice rejection slip, but I’m still feeling grateful to those editors, eager to submit other stories to those markets, and quite optimistic about my writing overall. I’m also still waiting to hear back about a handful of other submissions, so who knows what June will bring? There’s nothing to do but stay positive and keep writing and maybe stop with the cannibalism stories for a while because really, Jillian, people are going to start to wonder.

I also read seven books this month, but only ONE of them was from my Off the Shelves List.
*hangs head in shame*
*curses the library for being so tempting and free*
*waves at Madeline, who seems to have the same problem* 

But again, there's always June! 

How was your writing/reading/life in May?


  1. Between commissioned writing projects and full time teaching of 3 sections of...wait for it...writing, the writing certainly got my full attention. Now I have a week until another commissioned project starts, and school is finished, so I am trying to get some reading done. I fell woefully short of my May goal-only 4 books completed. However, when you consider that I read 4 sets of essays from 75 students, I certainly have an excuse for less 'booking' this month.

    1. As always, your productivity puts me to shame. :-)

  2. Congratulations on all your writing and your personal rejections! That sounds weird but you know what I mean.

    Oh, and I, for one, love a good cannibalism story. And you can never be too creepy. Right? Or maybe that's just me. (My mother read my Twitter story, "Class Trip," and told me it was "awful." But I know she meant it in a good way.) :)

    I told myself I would start June reading a book from my shelf. What am I reading? A library book. Sigh.

    1. I'm glad we understand each other about rejections, cannibalism, and creeped out mothers, hehe :-).

      I'm actually working on some OTS books right now, but we'll see how long it lasts...

  3. I'm on the monthly installment plan too this year; weekly was great last year with 52 new stories to show for it, but I need more time to work on my novel-length projects. And funny you mention cannibalism: I just recently had a story accepted after 2 years of rejections because of the same issue. Anyhow, way to go on meeting your May W1S1 goals! We're creeping up on the halfway point...

    1. Thanks Milo, and congrats on your own progress and that hard won cannibalism story acceptance - I'm glad I'm not the only one :-P.