Rejection, Regression, Diffusion: A June Recap!

I know, nothing for a whole month and then twice in one week; what is this madness?

It’s a product of where my brain has been lately, to be honest. Writing wise the month of June was… Scattered?  I dunno. I’m losing focus. I haven’t been able to really concentrate on any one project at a time so I’ve started a lot of different things which, ultimately, works out to a whole lot of nothing.

Aside from the odd blog post, I’ve started two short stories, and have begun outlining a work of fan-fiction. I know, fan-fic, blegh. Not the noblest of pursuits, but if it’s keeping the gears turning that’s all that matters, right? Just gotta make sure it doesn’t take over.

I haven’t written any (unprompted) fan-fiction since I joined the Recluse Forums six or seven years ago and diving back into it, despite relying on different source material than I was then, feels like regression… Or retreat.

I received three rejection letters in June from three different publishers. Perhaps that has something to do with it? Withdrawing from the world a bit and crawling back into the safe space. The place where, if what I produce is junk, I can always blame the source material. I stuck my little feelers out to see if it was safe, and someone stepped on them.

I’ve also grown increasingly annoyed at other stories; stories which the world has accepted. I find when I watch TV or read or even play video games, lately, I end up dissecting the experience and thinking, or saying out loud to whomever is listening, “I could have written that better.” It’s just another kind of fan-fiction, and worse, most of the time I’m lying. I don’t actually dislike what I’m seeing (all the time), but for some reason there’s this urge to pick it apart which, I’m sure, makes watching television with me an insufferable experience.

I’ve never handled rejection well, ever; but I find I tend to go the opposite way a lot of folks do. I don’t really get down on myself, rather, I pump myself up even higher. I place myself on an irrational pedestal and think, “How DARE they turn me down? Clearly the plebs cannot comprehend the opportunity they’ve been offered. Feh!” Of course, I know that’s not true and borders on pathological narcissism, I think it’s part of the same “You’re wrong!” reflex which I’m really, honestly, trying to get a handle on. In time I’ll calm down.  But until then, I just don’t really feel like sharing anything with anyone if it won’t be appreciated; that’s what I tell myself.

It’s a protective measure I’ve developed, I think, and it’s automatic. When I got the rejection emails, each was met with the same degree of apathy. I really, really want to get material accepted and published, it’s very much a motivator; but when I see:

Dear Adam,

Thank you for your interest in [REDACTED]. Our editorial staff has carefully reviewed your material, but unfortunately, it is not quite right for our magazines.

We appreciate this opportunity to see your work, and hope that you will be successful in placing it elsewhere.

Sincerely,

The Editors

My first reaction is, “Meh. Their loss.” Which, I think, is both good and bad. Good because it keeps me from beating myself up and agonizing over it. Bad because it also keeps me from growing and improving. But at the same time, at least in these instances, what choice do I have. I can’t really turn around and ask, “Well, what didn’t you like? I can fix it!” Well… I can, but the chances of getting an answer are pretty slim. That’s not their job and it’s presumptuous of me to ask them.

I’m just irritated that writing which I feel is subpar (read: not the way I’d do it) is popular, and that I can’t seem to get in on it. I can write badly. I have written badly… It’s very possible I -am- writing badly; even though no one will tell me. Of course, I realize I’ve been at this for a total of sixth months and that it’s going to take longer than that. But still!

Enough of that, though.

June is over, time to tally the word count. Between the couple of blog posts, the fan-fiction outlines and two incomplete short stories, I’m totaling up to 10,121. Still keeps me over my 10,000 words per month goal, not by much though. July goals; refocus and actually finish some stuff. 

Once more into the breach.

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