Lately I’ve read a lot of blog posts and articles on rejection. While it’s comforting to know I’m not the only author to go through this, it doesn’t stop the feeling that I’m never going to get published. Between rejected queries, partials, and short stories, sometimes I want to throw in the towel. There are so many authors out there trying to get a break, many of them just as good at writing as I am. Sometimes I feel like they’re way better, and I’m never going to be able to compete. How can I among thousands and thousands of authors? I know I’m a good writer, but am I good enough to rise above the rest of the crop?
My logical, pessimistic brain often says “no”, but I keep writing anyway. Last night, after having a short story rejected, I responded by being dejected for about ten minutes, then submitting the story elsewhere and opening up Word to write another one. Even when this endeavor feels hopeless, I have to write. A few years ago, I wrote a ton of fan fiction that I posted for free on the internet. People read my stories, liked them, and it made me happy. I sometimes write opinion pieces for Tosche Station, and am always happy to receive feedback, good or bad. I don’t get paid for those, either.
The point is – I love to write. I love to create. I’m going to keep doing it even if my friends and people on the internet are the only ones who read my stuff. I will write for free. I will write as a hobby. I will write because it’s what I do.
This doesn’t mean I’m giving up – far from it. If I’m going to write, I’m going to do everything in my power to get published. And the great thing about publishing right now is having options. I can query agents and submit short stories to traditional markets, or I can publish stories on my blog to gain an audience and submit other stories to smaller websites and even self-publish a novel if I feel like it. I can do whatever I want, and that’s a great feeling. I’m not tied to one path, one way of getting my work out there.
No matter what I decide in the future, I won’t give up. I’m always going to write, and I’m always going to want an audience. How I find that audience is up to me.