I was compiling a list of my accomplishments for a…thing….and realized I don’t have many. Not any of the traditional kinds anyway. Oh sure, there are a few published poems, articles, a book contribution, but that can be summed up in a long sentence or a few bullet points. The rest of the page flashed white with mockery.
“And you call yourself a writer,” it said to me. (In morse code or some other way of communication from Microsoft Word.)
I wanted to write, and very nearly did, “I have been rejected by some of the finest literary magazines and writing programs!” And that list is a lengthy one; it would surely fill up that dead white space.
But why focus on the negative? Yes, I’ve got more rejections than I do acceptances, but who doesn’t? Thankfully, they come by e-mail now, so the blow of not being picked can be felt on my way to work or in line at the bank, instead of the even harsher short slip of tangible paper to pin to a cork board. The fact is, I’m doing something. I’m making contributions. Go to any “inspirational” Pinterest board, and you’re bound to see quotes about failure and perseverance, citing things like Walt Disney or Albert Einstein. They tie things up a little too nicely, but I get the point.
I keep plugging away. I keep submitting. I keep my subscription to Duotrope up-to-date. And hopefully, I’m able to keep in perspective that even if no one else wants to read what I write, at least I do. I’m writing for me, and sometimes, other people like it too.