Fighting Discouragement

Rejected Aspiring WriterThis morning I had another rejection email.

I’ve been submitting flash fiction pieces here and there while I work on my novels. I don’t get too attached to these short pieces, and I don’t expect anything to come of the submissions.

But a rejection is still a rejection, and the ones I’ve had so far seem to quote that “it’s not right for us”. Considering I always read around the publication/website/competition rules to try and fit my work to the best places, this feedback doesn’t help me develop as a writer. I want to reply and ask what wasn’t right about it.

Was it too long or too short? Did it contain violence or negative emotions and you don’t want those? Did the characters feel empty? There must be something that made it “not right” that I could learn from.

In the last month and a half, I’ve submitted eight pieces of micro fiction and had three rejections. One was just “oh, my name’s not in the shortlist on the website” and the other two used this reason of “not being quite right for us”.

I know it’s early days – eight pieces is hardly the kind of numbers where you’d expect a lot of acceptances; but I still crave the knowledge of what’s wrong with them. Is it the subject matter, or the writing itself?

I’m left wondering what to write next, because I don’t know what aspect I should be changing. If I need to change where I’m submitting my work to, then I need to know why it’s not suitable for these publications… because in my eyes, I’ve picked them out because I think they’ll fit in.

Maybe I’ll try submitting to these places again, and if I’m still not right, see if I can ask them. For now, I wish someone would shed some light on where I’ve gone wrong, but all I can do is keep moving forward, keep submitting, and remember that success doesn’t happen overnight.

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