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Monday is like a cliché metaphor that you’ve tried to make original.

Every day I check my mail box because I never know when I’m going to get something good. Usually it’s just bills but every now and then I get a letter from my friend Karyn or a note from my grandma. It’s usually a fun thing – a grownup thing – to check the mail box when I come home at night, ready to see if somebody has thought of me. However, as of late it’s become somewhat nerve wracking.

The guy from Tales of the Unanticipated said that I would probably hear if my story was accepted by January 31st. Now I have a deadline of sorts. By January 31st I should know if my story was good enough, if he liked it better than others, if, you know, I have the stuff. It’s a little tedious. But it means that every day that I check my mail box and don’t see that familiar pre-stamped envelope that I got from the post office, addressed to myself in my own handwriting, it means I’m one day closer to being a published author.

My sources say that he’s down now to 69 stories – that’s 20 stories down from when I heard from him in December. That’s 20 stories that I was better than. That’s 20 authors who found rejection notices in their mailboxes when they came home from work.

It’s a humbling process, this submittal/rejection. All writers are egotistical – we have to be. We have to be proud enough of our work to think that someone would not only WANT to read it, but PAY US to read it. I admit, when I started out I thought it would be easy. Perhaps all writers do – yes, they know it’ll be tough and rejection does happen, but when you start out, deeeeeeep down inside you feel “you know, not me – that’s not going to happen to me. I’m just going to be THAT good…” Of course, you don’t tell this to anybody else, and you won’t admit to it either. When people ask you, you say you know it’s hard, tossing it off like a seasoned pro. But really, deep deep down, you think you’ll just blow the competition away with your original thoughts and brand new style (which, later, you realize isn’t all THAT original, or THAT brand new). So when that first rejection letter comes, it’s a slap of reality. When the second one arrives it’s pay back for putting on airs. And as you wait for what could be the third…well…you create art.

I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I should be. Perhaps free writes and exercises are in order for me to continue to keep at the top of my game. I have an other LJ set up just for that – and I need to make good on my resolution to WRITE more (at least 3 new and polished stories by the end of the year).

SO if anybody out there has some good exercises to share with me, or if you’d like me to tell you a story – drop me a line. It’s good to keep my fingers moving and warm, and it’s even better to create art when you are scared of what’s awaiting you when you get home.
You could do like those fanfic challenges (but it doesn't have to be fanfic) where you need to write a story that includes a laundry list of things, and use them so they make some sort of sense. Such as, a volvo, a firebolt racing broom, your cat, tic tacs, the empire state building, and the miami dolphins starting line.

I expect the final copy on my desk in a week :P
Just work, get feedback, and work on making your weaknesses stronger, and your strongest points even better. It's a little different from painting and drawing, but same principles apply as far as practicing Gyg thinks.

I hear the rejection for stuff too, in my field it's more stuff like art shows and contests and not winning them. At least for the time being. And then there is always "how many comments will this garner on LJ and Devart?", "Will this have enough appeal that people link it to their friends, and they to theirs?", & "Will this draw more traffic to me, and accumulate more of a fanbase?"
write a story about Gabi and Joanna and their heroic adventrues together! It must involve a broken schlangen, cute girls, cheap men and exploding sheep. Your deadline is January 24th!
I'd like to hear one about Prince William, a fateful skiing trip, a really ugly hat and your Great-aunt Gertha....oh wait...hrm...nevermind. =X