- Ann Schwarz
- I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
It Sometimes Takes a Village to Be a Writer
I got my first personalized rejection this past holiday week. I don't know what I expected to feel when this happened. I've gotten so used to form rejections that this one held much more of a sting. Of course my initial reaction was along the same lines as that of a three year old that has been shoved down by someone bigger and meaner. Internally I was stamping my feet and sticking out my tongue at my computer screen in between internal shrieks of frustration and calling the author of this personal rejection a stupid-head. Once all of that was done I tried to squash that rasher immature side of me and take a calm and rational look at what the note was trying to convey to me. I couldn't do it. I couldn't be rational like the tin man above and ignore the passions of my heart.
It was too hard to do. I think the publisher was trying to convey an honest reason for rejecting my submission. Which I tried to tell myself was a good thing. But in all honesty made me question my piece and my integrity as an individual.
If I didn't have a strong base of other writers more experienced than I to turn to in circumstances like these, I might have been tempted to shelve this short fiction piece and leave it buried forever. At times this might be the best option. But if you can't be objective about your own work its best to turn to someone you trust who knows your work before giving up.
I know there are writers out there who have soldiered on and succeeded on their own. But there are so many resources out there for writers that you don't have to do this on your own. This is a very hard world to navigate. It is easier when you can form a support system around you to help cheer you on, or offer you sound, objective advice when you need it. Especially other writers who know what your going through.
A writer friend I trust advised me that this was one person's opinion. She also pointed out that if this publisher didn't see some potential in my work she wouldn't have bothered to give me a detailed rejection with the reasons for it. So I'm going to pick myself up and dust myself off and re-submit my work elsewhere. But I'm very grateful to the community of other writers I've developed over the last few years. Writing is a solitary task, but it doesn't have to be a lonely one. Just like people often say it takes a village to raise a child it can also take a village or community of supporters to help you along in your struggle to make that writing better and encourage you to keep trying when you send it out there for the world to read.