I had a post prepped for today about rejection and then, oh the irony, I had a story accepted. So I thought I’d write about that instead.
(And before you start screaming ‘that’s not irony’, the term irony has different uses in different areas of cultural and intellectual endeavour. The definition of literary irony, for example, isn’t even the definition of irony that some people fail to use correctly. So point one, this may or may not be ironic depending on what irony we’re talking about, and point two, you know what I mean so quit fussing. Now, moving on…)
I won’t get into what the accepted story’s about – I’ll post about that when it’s published. What I want to explain is the journey this story went through to get published. Because this one is about persistence.
I started writing this story in January 2008. The second of January 2008, in fact – when I’m feeling diligent I write these things down. And it was accepted on ninth June 2012, four years five months and seven days later. It was rejected by thirteen different markets, and went through at least three substantial re-writes, all of which made it better. When it got rejected I sent it out again. When I got feedback with the rejection I did a re-write first, incorporating that feedback, and then sent it out again. I kept plugging away until, at last, my little tale found a home.
Not all stories are worthy of publication. I’ve written some real dross in my time. But if you believe in your stories then be persistent, don’t give up after the first rejection, or the first dozen. Write, submit, re-write, and do it all again. It might take time, but you’ll get there in the end.
And I’ll discuss rejection another time.