For the past two/three years – when the dark nights sank in and the leaves suffocated my lawn – I’ve panicked. This year has been no different. I looked at my 2014 goals and realised: 2014 is ALMOST OVER! The first few goals I scrapped. They’re unachievable. The novel won’t be finished, I can’t sub to agents, so I skipped right down to the ‘get two stories published’ and I ran at it with everything I had. BANG! (Nope, not a brick wall, but fireworks!)
I was thrilled (and relieved) to have won second place in the Greenacre Writers Competition. The lovely email came right after a rejection from a submission (*note this point – I’m going to refer to it in a minute) I had been waiting on for ages, so it was perfect timing. The story, The scales fall, can be read here and is about shame and judgement etc etc. Oh, and it’s about a lady who turns into a lizard.
I wrote the story in two halves, with about eight months between writing the beginning and the end. It took a very long time to realise the ending, and to discover what it was about. But I’m glad I didn’t rush it. I couldn’t have written it this time last year, and any ending I would have come up with would have been lacking, probably. I must remember that. Endings for me can take a very long time.
*Now, cue a different topic entirely. That rejection I received (whilst on holiday) just before the win, was a bit of a let down for me. It had taken so long, and although I already knew the answer, I was still disappointed because in my 2014 goals, I also specify where I’d like to get published. But I had read this wonderful blog piece from Firewords Magazine, which encouraged me to submit again.
I often don’t bother submitting for a long time if that publication has already rejected me – it’s never a conscious decision or a logical one. And amazingly, the same place came back to me a day later and I’m in! Yes! It won’t be up until April next year, but I’m excited! And I wanted to encourage any writers out there to submit (even a week later) to places they’ve been rejected by.
So remember, don’t give up (I should have that tattooed on my hands so that I see it every time I write).