I’d been wondering when I’d hear back from an application I’d made for a Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Award. The website said December. I’d been obsessively checking my emails since the first. I got the email yesterday – nopes. It isn’t my first rejection. I’ve had quite a few. I did, however REALLY want this one, and I think those are always the toughest to process.
Aye. It was that sare.
However, instant sane perspective is not my default setting. It takes me a little time to see the big picture sometimes. I draw on the wise words of my tutor “Being a writer is 9 tenths rejection” and I remember to breathe. I got a DM on Twitter from a lovely lady who got her award on her third application. My tutor was the same. All is well with the world once more.
Keeping on keeping on is the hardest part of being a writer. I’ll consult my schedule and see which deadline is next. I’ve a heap of poems from my bus pass poems project to edit and tinker around with. I’m working on a completely new piece, a short story for a local literary journal. I am having lots of fun performing and traveling around.
Giving myself a hard time will only stop me writing and submitting. I’m a hardy cheal. I’m not giving up that easily. Another great piece of advice I read the other day was “You only get one first collection”. I really took that on board. I was ‘hingin ower masel’ trying to get published in print because I viewed it as some kind of validation.
Don’t get me wrong, it is. Publication is every writer’s dream. But – do you submit something you know is not your best work just to get that fabled bit of print? It is something worth considering. I’ve not applied for the PhD this year. I’m going to spend next year writing and reading as much as I can. I’ll be submitting to journals and online publications but not publishers for a collection – yet. I’ll re-evaluate in the summer and see where I am at then.
I’m having loads of fun in the process, so why not just kick back and enjoy it, instead of putting so much pressure on myself to achieve achieve achieve. Life’s no fun when you are an exhausted robot. It is okay to just play – I need to remember that. On that note, I’ll leave you with the Godlike genius that is Mr Iggy Pop.