Saturday, January 21, 2012

Legitimacy Bred by Rejection

Well, I can feel marginally more legitimate now.

Today I received my first rejection letter.

Yeah, personal little confession here. Even though I published on earlier this month, I still don't feel like I've really gotten my work out there. I don't feel all the way official yet.

Now, that'll come in time as I continue the story begun in "Reserved for War," but there's something about that external confirmation of an editor that's been deeply bred in the writer's psyche. While I've chosen to not completely shackle myself to the opinions of a single reader (i.e. an editor), I still hope to develop a positive relationship with the traditional publishing industry.

So, to that end, I've begun submitting my shorter fiction to the online magazines.

My first victim was the Hugo-award-winning Clarke's World Magazine. Competition is stiff there, as they only publish three stories a month. Think I'm crazy for even trying?

Hey, all they can do is say no, right?

I will admit that I chose Clarke's World more for their speedy turnaround (most submissions are read and replied to within the first three days), and I think this worked to my advantage. Rather than building up my hopes and expectations over weeks or months, unsure what to expect, only to ultimately be let down (or not, I guess), this way I was able to eagerly anticipate a reply and then move on.

Intense emotion packed into as small a space of time as possible.

Now I can stop worrying and move on with the writing. I received my first rejection. I am an official, legitimate contender in this journey now.

Just as publishing on Amazon was the first step on a new journey -- one of independent publication -- so this rejection is the first measurable step on a similar, parallel journey -- one of traditional publication.

Both are exciting, and I eagerly anticipate watching my own progress over the coming months and years.

(Hm, last statement = slightly narcissistic? Probably. [Shut up, inner editor.])

Until next time...
-josh k.

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