As I write this, I have the Lord of the Rings ‘Shire’ theme stuck in my head. You know the one. The one that makes you think of grassy hills and pipe smoke, and of coming home.
I don’t know why it’s on repeat in my brain, but I guess it fits. There have been a lot of highs and lows this month.
I’ll start with the lows, and somewhere in the middle we’ll find the Mordor-esque pits of hell, and by the end we’ll be all daisies again.
I spent a lot of February tentatively checking my emails (about ten times a day), waiting to hear back from journals about some short story submissions.
Waiting is the worst.
So while I waited, I started workshopping a story I wrote back in November about a couple with trust issues grieving the loss of a loved one, yet celebrating the breakdown of the walls inside their relationship.
While I waited, I also worked with two new Short Story and Poem of the Month authors (whose works are forthcoming on Writer’s Edit in March).
It was really great to give feedback for two very different pieces – one a hilarious poem, the other a very literary short story.
I also started pinning again, with bits and pieces of story settings and images for my writing inspo board.
As mentioned in my mid-Feb book talk video, I’ve been reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I started book three, and was thrown back into Roland’s world. I’ll talk more about what I think of The Waste Lands in my March vid.
And then I got the email. I felt that stomach-jolt reading the subject headline: YOUR SUBMISSION.
My piece was rejected.
At first I was gutted (as you always are). But this one was extra painful because this particular journal only accepts writers under 25. I am 24 years old. I have been submitting to them for around five years, and been rejected every time.
I spent some time pouting and then moved on. Because that’s all you can do when your writing is rejected.
I browsed my list of open submissions and competitions and found a new one, and submitted the story again. Hopefully this time I’ll have more luck with it.
I’ve learned a lot about rejection, not by being a writer, but by being an editor. I have to reject work all the time at Writer’s Edit, and it’s certainly not always because the writing is bad. There are lots of factors involved.
February was a big month for Writer’s Edit with submissions. I’ve been curating the Short Story and Poem of the Month (which I affectionately call SSPoM in my spare time, because it reminds me of Hermione and S.P.E.W but much more successful).
I got a tonne of emails about SSPoM, and on top of that, our submissions for Kindling Volume III have just closed so I’ll be working through those readings and shortlists for March.
Speaking of March – it’s going to be huge! I’m planning my wedding (wha-what!), Writer’s Edit is going on a road trip, and there’s more writing to do!