This morning, three different rejections landed in my inbox.
Also got a note on Facebook from Ducts.org that they’ve nominated my story Thorax of a Blowfly for the Best of the Net anthology, 2015. It’s an icky story, and not really competition material, so I’m kind of stunned they chose it. It goes like this:
She could hear the little darlings. They made minute scrapy-whispery sounds as they fed on flesh, desperate to grow, so they could get on with their brief lives as the hairy maggot blowfly. Their dirty-yellow warty bodies looked true to their common name, but Farah preferred to call them Chrysomya rufifacies. Sounded scientific, and so much better. Read more…
I’m grateful to New York Writer’s Workshop for their faith in my work. I’m fortunate, blessed.
The validation is great, don’t get me wrong, but just like the rejections, their effect on me is short-lived. Like I said on a writing forum today, I’ve become a believer in ‘Action without Attachment.’
The stories get my very best, and I shop them around. Rejections are par for the course, so a little validation once in a while is good. But neither matter when faced with the blank page. Some days, words follow one another. I blog or edit when the words don’t flow. That’s all there is to it.
Some days are harder than others, but the effort everyday is mostly fulfilling. Frustrating too, sometimes. But the frustration reduces the more I show up on the job, on the page. Not that it will entirely go away, I don’t think.
What about you? In life, or writing, does external validation make you feel worth it? Does fear of rejection prevent you from participating? What’s your secret coping mechanism?