Great Expectations [Micro Flash Fiction]

in fiftywords •  last year  (edited)

Made in Canva

Harry bought a copy of Pop Magazine, as he had for the past six months, and flipped through the pages.

His story wasn’t in there.

He pulled out his phone then paused. They’d only promise next month again.

Half a year, for nothing. He dumped the magazine in a bin.

...

As a writer pursuing mainstream publication, the frustrations of career stagnation and rejection letters are all too well known by me. Choosing to be a writer as a career is, of course, by default a difficult and frustrating endeavour. I don't think anyone not in their write mind would willingly go through this torment and subject themselves to intellectual masochism.

Over and over and over...

But, then again, that's what makes writers... well, writers. And this is probably how it keeps those not serious enough about writing from being writers. Cruel, I know, but it's just an observation and speculation. The "it" I'm referring to is the figurative being of writing, created by standards and preferences that dictate the norms and trends of writing. I can't help personifying it—that's what I do.

And venturing into the mainstream publishing world further weeds out the writers who stick through it from those who don't. This isn't anything wrong, exactly. I can't think of a single skill-set that this doesn't happen with. That's life. And when submitting the work you slaved over for months, maybe even years, editing and editing and rewriting and editing, only to receive a letter that thanks you then proceeds to reject that work can be soul-crushing.

More like soul-grinding.

And often we, as writers, take the rejection personally. How could they not love this perfect thing I created?! That, my friends, is the seducer called Ego, tempting you away from reality and emotional stability. And so we take rejection as an attack on our work and therefore on us. But a lot of the time with good writing, a rejection isn't because of the work or you. Okay, it's almost never about you. It can be because the editors had a certain theme, tone, voice, or subject matter planned for the magazine/journal and your work just doesn't fit.

There's nothing wrong with that. It's just business, baby.

So what do you do with a rejection when you're unsure if it's because of your work or because of the editors' plans? You take it, pin it against the wall, frame it, and look at it with pride. Why? Because you tried. You did what many writers don't. You let them see your work and they've seen how hard you worked on it.

Or you can toss it in a bin and write something else, or work more on that work, then send it out again. Rinse and repeat.

Intellectual masochism, as I said. Embrace it. Use it. Don't give up just because Ego said no one liked your magnum opus. Ego can't read editors' minds. Remember that.

This little lecture/rant/motivational was inspired by @jayna's Fifty Word Challenge where the prompt this week was “pop”. I encourage every writer—starting out or professional—to join in this fun but challenging initiative.

...

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I like the way you think, even if I have never offered a story for editors to reject.
:)

  ·  last year (edited)

Ya I queried my last manuscript for a bit. It sucks. Will go back to querying that manuscript after I publish my first book, due out this fall. Sometimes it feels like you work for nothing, but, we can say something few people can, that we created something new and novel for the world, and we will have the rest of our lives to figure out how to share it with everybody else.

Your responses to this challenge always come with great insight! Thanks for giving us this glimpse into your perspective, there’s a lot to be learned from it.

Powerful and personal. Thanks for the insight. It's a tough profession I would say. I'm an engineer, so things are either right or wrong most of the time, and when they don't work, you scratch your head and change things until they work as they should.. However, when you feel things are perfect, they generally are.. It must be tough as a writer, when you think things are perfect, only to be rejected... Rejection is never easy in any guise... I love writing as a hobby, if it was my profession, I'd find it much harder I think and writers block and perfectionism would be inevitable.

Hits home in so many ways, from the writer and the artist and the older guy who feels like he's outstripped in computer savvy by the young kids that were able to finish college when they were young still. Ahh, the burdens of the emotional.

My favorite line was "pin it to the wall" so you can take pride in your trials.

Hello @anikekirsten, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

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Great story; very candid reflections about what it means to be a writer. Quite a gamble; a very exciting one, nonetheless.

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