I am feeling a little disheartened today. I am in the process of editing a piece that I am going to submit to Real Live Literary Magazines (RLLM). This piece is going to be the first piece that I submit to a RLLM. I have submitted to my school literary magazine, but somehow, that is less momentous of an occasion. I was still insanely happy when both of the pieces I submitted got in–one poem and one short story, if I recall correctly. It was a great day. Although, even before I was published in the school literary magazine, I had been published in my neighborhood magazine, with the Isaura story, and had been getting that story published for several months, so maybe getting published wasn’t that big of a deal.
I already have experience, even though neither instances were as selective as RLLM will be, but I do not think they should be discredited, all the same. Sure, they don’t make me JK Rowling, but I’m still pretty legit, I think.
I’m one of those people who are always thinking three steps ahead. If I’m almost done with a piece, I’m thinking about what I should work on next, once I’m done. So, I’m in that process right now, since I am almost done with the first piece I’m going to submit to RLLM.
And I’m kind of disheartened.
I wrote 7 or more short stories starting from January 1 2015 to now, all in an effort to write a piece good enough to even think of editing for a RLLM. All my other pieces seemed elementary, rudimentary, or just dumb. I wrote a lot of fiction that I liked, from Jan 1 until now. But they didn’t seem to have the RLLM tone, or something like that. The piece that I am going to submit, having to do with lights, seemed to be the closest, even though I am not a literary fiction writer. I am barely a writer-writer. But I do like writing. And that has to mean something.
But, to get through the weariness, I have to come back to what’s at the heart of my writing, and it’s just that: heart. I love writing. I really do. I am going to go through this infinite effort I spend for writing because that’s what I love. I will always come back to writing, and writing 7 drafts, and spend all this time. It feels like turmoil, and blood, sweat, and tears, but it’s the kind of effort I want to put. I would work myself to frustration for writing. Eventually, the story is going to be done. Either because I am too tired to work anymore, or because by some miracle, I am actually happy with what comes out. Let’s hope for more of the second one and less of the first one, but let’s be real.
It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to get published. No one gets published on their first try. I do not expect to get published on the first try. And if writing 7 horrible stories to get 1 good story to submit for possible publishing is what it takes, then so be it. And if 7 good stories submitted results in 1 piece published, then that’s a blessing! It takes some people much longer.
And guess what?
Next year, or the year after that, or maybe in 3 years, I will look back at those 7 “failure” stories, and see new opportunities. I will breathe new life into these stories and they might become stories that I can just submit for possible publishing.
And also, not everything is even about publishing. That isn’t the be all and end all of writing. It’s okay to just write for fun, for enjoyment. For the thrill of it. And, if something comes out that you want to publish, or submit for someone else to publish, then that’s just another part of the adventure.
Dream, writers. Dream. It’s what we’re best at.