Friday, June 9, 2017

Dealing With Disappointment

Dealing With Disappointment

Jennifer E. Miller

Disappointment happens to us at one time or another. Actually, I should be more honest: it happens a lot. I am certainly no exception. 

From time to time, I submit my work to various literary magazines or publications. I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of pieces accepted for publication. In January, I submitted three poems to the Washington 129 anthology. It's a collection of poems, by Washington State residents, honoring the state's culture, geography, nature, and whatever else comes to mind. None of my pieces were selected.

No profession is successful without some kind of failure first, and writing is no exception. One would think I'm used to rejection by now, and, in a sense, I am. But I was really looking forward to to receiving the "Congratulations, your poems were accepted" letter. I've lived in Washington nearly my whole life, and since my poems reflected upon Washington State, Washington 129 was a logical choice to publish them in. So now where should they go? I must continue my hunt for a proper home for them. I like my poems and think they are good enough. Where is the ultimate question.

Another reason I feel so rejected is because I wonder if my work wasn't academic enough, as I don't hold a Master's or PhD in creative writing. (Most writers would state this in their bio when submitting.) Frankly, I'm not interested in those because my writing to conforms to me; noy to academia standards (and I don't want to spend an eternity paying off student loan debt). But still; I am curious if that made any difference. Isn't that how it worked in high school? If someone played only on a junior varsity sports team, they wouldn't "letter" in the sport; they just played. Someone who played varsity most likely earned a school letter to display on their jacket. Is that how it works in the writing world, too? Do they look for an author bio with extra letters after their name; BA in this, Master's in that, and PhD in creative writing? 

I suppose I'm getting ahead of myself. Maybe my stuff simply wasn't good enough. What if it actually sucked?! Perhaps my poems should stay stashed away in Word, buried among all the other would-bes and has-beens saved to the hard drive. Ugh! The cycle of triumph and disappoint is tough.

Well, the only option is to forge on in quest of the next rejection letter and hope to be surprised. 

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