A Picture I Took By My Bus Stop (I will have to look up the name)

A Picture I Took By My Bus Stop (I will have to look up the name)
I think these are Clematis (but don't quote me!) - This picture was taken by my bus stop

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How do you Handle Rejection?

Today I received word that my poem did not place in the Fish Poetry Competition.  I know, I have a lot of nerve.  I sure go for the gusto!  I don't start small and work my way up.  No I do the reverse.

I can't let it get to me.  I have to continue on.  The good news is that I rewrote part of Celeste today while I had a few minutes to spare.  I am pleased with what I did and I'm feeling confident again.  I think I'm finally emerging from the fog that had blinded me to the scene's possibilities.  My problem, which I hope writing this blog will help me, is getting over the fear of what other people will think.  You'd think that at my age I'd be over it already -- I'm not.  I know this plays a big part in how I express myself and has been a big problem the past couple of years.  'Why do you want to become a writer then,' you are probably asking the question.  One day I hope I can answer it for you.  

I notice that just when I'm close to a character's truth or when I think I'm doing really well, my brain shuts down.  I can't find the words.  My sentences come out all jumbled.  I have to really pray about it, to have this fear removed from me.  Obviously I'm being led along this path by something greater than me.  Call it what you will, but a path is being laid out in front of me, which I'm gladly following.  The path has taken me to England and back to the U.S.  Let me explain.

When I started on this journey and finally committed to becoming the writer I"ve always wanted to be, I started looking online for some online writing groups.  Lo and Behold I found the Thresholds Short Story Forum on Facebook.  Something about it intrigued me and I followed the link to its web page and I found a treasure trove of wonderful articles, author Q&A, interviews, links --  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  And Loree Westron and Alison MacLeod both welcomed me with open arms and even though the website is geared towards post-graduate students I was welcomed to participate.  What a joy and a blessing this has been.  This is where I 'virtually' met Tania Hershman.  Another wonderful writer and human being.  She also has a wonderful blog which I'd previously given you a link to or actually she did because I still haven't learned how to do this.  

Anyway, just suffice to say that now I'm enjoying another author's web page, a friend of Tania's Vanessa Gebbie -- this happened just today, who in turn turned me on to  Patricia Ann McNair's blog who is from CHICAGO...so here I am back in the U.S. again.  Sorry to have taken so long to get to this point.  But Vanessa Gebbie has a great discussion on this link about the Short Story:



Again people, please copy and paste.  I still haven't figured out how to add a LINK!  Sorry


  1. Hi Dora

    Thanks for mentioning the article - its been such a great series of discussions - hope its useful.
    And thanks too for raising the issue of worrying what people think. If it's any help - I have yet to meet a serious writer who doesn't have that worry - and I hate to say, but it doesn't get better. We still keep on keeping on because we don't know what else to do. How's that for scientific!
    Lots of good luck with your work. Vanessa

    PS posting a link has to do with the green icon above the post you are writing - it looks like an alien. (!)

  2. Thank you for the tip Vanessa! I'm still reading through the posts and the discussion has been very helpful. I love the short story. When I was younger it baffled me as I tend to inhabit my stories with multiple characters and plots. I still have a problem with keeping the multiple threads to a minimum. The funny thing is that this doesn't happen when I'm writing poetry. I seem to be more focused and I've hit upon the idea of using my poems as a starting point as these are created from pure feeling alone. For me this is what a great short story does, as I read in one of your posts, is to give you "goosebumps." I don't remember who said it and I can't look it up as I'm typing on my BB (blackberry). Thank you also for mentioning that worrying is not just the province of a novice writer!

  3. Hey,

    I think as writers we all need to "consider" what other people think. This can help us become better writers.

    The trick is not to get upset by what others think of our writing and let their thoughts or opinions of our work keep us from writing!

  4. Suzanne,

    Thanks for your comments. I agree with you 100%. When I ask critiques of my work, I am open to suggestions and comments up to a certain point. Then I have to trust my instinct. I believe that this instinct is honed through writing and more writing. My mistake was in thinking that a first draft was a reflection of the best a writer has to give. Now I know better!

  5. Dora, I know. YOu feel like the King without clothes on!

    I went through decades unable to know if anything I ever wrote was good enough. Decades. I'm saying I began in 1973, just writing what I wanted. '80's I began trying to attain the esteemed position of "author" but could only get a couple of small articles published. Skip the '90's--I came close but no cigar with a romance novel. I went back to my original vampire book from the 80's tried to get an agent again NO! NO! NO!

    There was no such thing as the Internet, facebook etc. I only had WRiter's Digets and other such publications to go by. I had to be brave and I had some terrible, black times trying to get published.

    Sounds like you have a wonderful place to get some feed back, and I do hope your dreams come true. But believe me it will take a lot of work. You have to be able to do the work and take the critizim, but I'm sure you are willing, you seem to be doing it.

    By the way, I did not sell or publish a poem until I was 50--or there abouts. And a bunch of things just began to happen after that. So keep working at it. You will get there. And yes. Trust your instinct. Even those who critique can be wrong. Keep revising. I can't tell you how many revisions I do before I'm happy with it. It's more or less like an onion, I keep peeling away at it. (:

  6. Thanks Lorelei. When I was telling my friend about your book, I told her that we have a lot in common because are both going after our dreams, come what may. I hope your dreams come true as well. You are very talented. Most importantly, and this is where we diverge, you've gotten to learn the craft of writing inside and now have a book published! How exciting. I'm still a novice but if someone would have told me a couple of months ago that I'd be here now, I never would have believe them. There's more for me to do, but with a lot of hard work and stamina, it can be done! Thanks for your encouragement. I wish you continued success.

  7. Lorelei I forgot to mention that I've been at it as long as you. I started in 1978 and my first piece was a poem. Poetry and art (drawing/ painting) were my first loves. I can definitely relate to one minute loving your work to the next hating it and suffering despair; there's a lot of heartache that goes into achieving a dream.