Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Missed Chances For Writers
This poster can apply to our writing world as well as our everyday life. What about those submissions you didn't make? What about the story you wanted to write but never got around to doing it? What about the chance you had at a conference to introduce yourself to an editor but you were too shy to do so? What about the conference you wanted to go to but let the deadline to register slip on by?
Let's face it. We all have passed up opportunities in our writing life. Sometimes there were very valid reasons. At other times, we were a little too scared, a bit too lazy, or lacked the self-confidence to meet the new challenge head-on.
Why do we do these things? Fear is one reason. We are afraid that we won't measure up to the work of other writers. We are worried that rejection is the best we can expect if we submit our work to an editor. That's a defeatist attitude right there. How in the world do you know if you don't submit your work?
If the worst thing that happens is rejection after rejection, life still goes on. You can still write another story or essay or article. You can revise the project that received multiple rejections and send it out again. Is it normal to get discouraged when your submissions come rolling back? Of course it is. We are human and have feelings. It just plain hurts at times.
The one thing a writer needs to develop is a thick skin. It's not you, the writer, that is being turned down. It's the piece you wrote and maybe it's a good piece of writing but is too similar to what has been published recently. Or perhaps it doesn't fit the word count. Or then again, it's possible that it needs revision before you send it out again.
Think back to some of those missed chances in your writing life. You'll never know how having moved ahead and taken the challenge would have worked out. That's in the past. Use any remorse you might have in missing opportunities to forge ahead now. When there is a call for submissions that you can answer, do it. Don't just think about it. Do it!
When you have a chance to speak to someone in the writing world, gather your courage and introduce yourself. Ask a question at a workshop or conference instead of cowering in your seat in the last row, trying to be invisible. Writers must stand up and be recognized if they want to make progress in their field. Hope Clark, fiction writer, had a best-selling writer's reference book titled The Shy Writer published in 2004. She published another in 2013 called The Shy Writer Reborn. Read about it here. It might be of help to those writers who are happy as a clam writing but have trouble with the rest of what is involved in the writing world.
Evey writer could make a list of missed chances. It happens. From now on, let's all try to move forward and take a chance instead of passing on by. Wondrous things could happen to you and me!