Ug. I shouldn’t have submitted to that local magazine. The rejection is burrowing into my brain, setting up shop, and demanding that I crawl under my rock with the rest of my brethren: the maggots, slugs, and cockroaches.
I wish I didn’t get this way, but I do – all sensitive and prickly. I can’t stand to see other writers going through this phase. Whenever I see them spilling the beans, I think, “Geez. Grow up. Nobody cares about your stupid traumas.”
Yes, I’m that mean.
And when I get that way, all I can say back to my uppity self is:
SHUT, THE FUCK, UP. It’s my blog and I’ll cry when I want to.
Ug. Even worse. It’s like two schizophrenic kids fighting over who has the bigger bruised ego.
What can I learn from this experience? Let’s use bullet points. Makes it easier for me; don’t have to write in complete sentences. 😉
1. Read the instructions.
The piece was for a local, weekly paper. They asked for a 400 word story that used a specific phrase. Both the call for submissions and the paper’s articles are written in a style that is informative, smart, and above all, for a general audience. A piece that depicts two murders with blood and brains strewn about is probably not what they are looking for – ya think?
2. Read the instructions
They wrote, in clear English, that the winning stories would be read out loud at a local bookstore. One might think, if that was the case, the editors were probably looking for entries that were lyrical or had some natural rhythm, lending a pleasant sound to the ear when read to an eager audience. Not short, blunt phrases that involved guns, drugs, and assassins. Oh, and it might have been a good idea to, you know, like, maybe, read your piece out loud before sending – ya think?
3. Read the instructions
The theme was stealing. I wrote about stolen money. Nothing good ever comes from stealing money, but stealing doesn’t always have to be about money, does it? The editors gave us wily writers the topics they were looking for right in the call for submissions. They wanted “Stolen cars, stolen hearts, stolen files, stolen kisses, stolen ideas…”. I gave them the 2-minute version of The Godfather.
So, besides reading the instructions, I’ve learned one other valuable lesson:
Know Your Audience.
I feel sorry for the editors because, yes, I will try again next year.