Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting for the good news, not the bad

Sending work "out there" means waiting for responses. I'm not so great at subbing. I know writers who constantly have lots of work out at one time and just send that baby straight back out the minute it comes back to them. I understand that, I just don't do it myself.

Thing is, I choose really carefully where I want a story to go. I'm not "this must be published no matter what" I'm, "Ooh, I think my story "You say Grigio I say Gris - who knows why?" would be perfect at THAT PLACE, so I send it off, and stay hopeful, and if it comes back unwanted I feel a little sad for "You say..." and I write down the date of the rejection and any comments I got in my skull notebook, and that's it. 

A month or so may pass and I'll look at the story again, edit a little, and realise, "Ooh, no, THIS PLACE would be superb for my story" and so it goes.

While something is still being considered there's a gorgeous feeling of possibility. For ages I had a really high ratio of successful subs to rejected ones. I think that's gone now. That sucks. But that was happening when I was writing fresh words regularly. Illness and family responsibilities have cut my new words way down but hooooo-rah, recently I have written a couple of brand new stories. It feels so good to have actually made some stuff up! I am now in that world of hope again and feel like good news may be just an email away. I am doing that too frequent email refreshing.

Anyway, there have been a heap of top tips for writers around the blogs but none pleased me as much as this wonderful list by Laura Ellen Scott "Get out of that slushpile, what are you crazy?!?!?"  Perhaps if I follow her advice faithfully I'll boost my success stats.


5 comments:

Julia Bohanna said...

It's a funny old progression after subbing: that light feeling of a story out in the world, then a fantasy - collecting a good comment from a renowned editor, prize money or the Booker. Then there is a bit of impatience, then a lot. Then anxiety - maybe sweaty, maybe just a wince. Then a look at a prize list that might or might not contain you name. Or an email with a good comment about something you have created. Or anger and a 'pick yourself up' moment.

But I am glad you are penning fresh work, crafting, subbing. It means more Sara out in the world and that can NEVER be a bad thing.

Live long and be published, to completely cock up a Spock quote.....

Tania Hershman said...

As someone who received about 10 rejections this week, I hear you. That feeling of possiblity, of "not having been rejected yet". I would have thought we all might have somehow become a little immune after several years, but not really. I am always delighted at my ability to be totally thrilled for anyone I know who is on that list, as Julia says, that "might or might not contain your name". I would hate to not be excited. Onwards and outwards, let's hit the slush pile!

Sophie Playle said...

Your subbing strategy sounds very similar to my own!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Yes, when you sub something thoughtfully it's always great to get accepted. I love that.
I hate the places that never get back to you. And when you email a query, you get a form mail back. Urgh.

Sara Crowley said...

Thanks lovely ladies. I got a rejection for one of my new pieces, OUCH it went. Dunno why I was so upset, but I was. Ho hum...

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