Monday, June 16, 2014

Have You Ever Suffered The Slash?

Ever feel like this? A writer friend recently wrote a facebook post that created a good discussion with other writers.

She had made it to the short list on a forthcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book. When the letter and permission release form are sent to those writers who have made it to the 'finals,' there is one paragraph that warns that this does not mean your story is definitely in. A few more stories will be cut before the final number are selected.

We all read it, we know it's possible but we believe our story will make it. My friend learned a couple of days ago that her story was one of the few that had been cut at the end of the selection process. Hurts. Oh, how it hurts! To top it off, she was sick with a very bad cold. The news was certainly not a good dose of medicine for her physical health or emotional either. She reached out to her fellow writers.

To make matters worse, this is the sixth time that she's been in this situation. Six stories that almost made it but then suffered the slash. Six times that she had to absorb the sad news. Six times she had to give herself a pep talk. Six times she had to remind herself of the many stories that did make it into a Chicken Soup book. Six times she's had to move on.

She must have felt like the jockey who ran just behind the horses that won the prize money. Or the long distance runner who comes in just after the first place winner. So close and yet...

If you're a writer, you've had to deal with coming in second or total rejection. We all have because it's a part of the writing game. The trick is to bounce back after you've given yourself a short time (note that I said 'short') to feel sorry for yourself. You deserve that but you can't let yourself wallow in pity. I don't think my friend will do that. She's a pro and knows she has to start writing and send in a story for a new Chicken Soup book. And I'm sure she will. She'll most likely come up with more winners than losers, too.

Go ahead, organize a pity party for one, attend for one full day, then start writing again. Go ahead, post your feelings about the rejection for other writers on fb or other writing groups you belong to. You deserve the cyber hugs they'll give you. They understand. Most have been there at one time or another. But then start writing again. It's the best cure for suffering the slash.

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