Ever since I started my pursuit as a writer almost three years ago, I've been told "no" almost as much as when I was a little kid, begging for unwarranted toys or candy in a store.
Of course, it never comes across so bluntly as a simple En-Oh. It's usually something along the lines of "Thank you for sharing this with us, but unfortunately we don't believe your story is quite right for us..." Either it's something like that, or in many cases, there's no response at all. But however it's said (or not said), it all still means "No".
Now, I understand agencies and publishers aren't out to dash my dreams. I know they're extremely busy and can't respond to everything personally. I also haven't been in this game very long, and haven't been rejected nearly as much many of my other fellow aspiring authors. But simply put, being told "no", time after time, sucks.
But then someone says "yes"...
A few months ago, while I was waiting to hear back from an agency regarding my revised manuscript for Sons of Sludge (which ended up resulting in another "no") I was at a loss for how I should proceed in the meantime. I've always heard people encouraging writers to never stop writing, but I wasn't quite sure about what to write. My wife suggested that I work on some short stories while I passed the time, and the product of this endeavor was two short tales about teenagers with reject superpowers.
After I finished the first one, Time Stops, I sent it to a handful of literary journals, not expecting much more to come from it, other than the standard rejections I was so used to receiving. And while I did receive some, one particular website sent an email that had never before graced my eyes. They actually said yes. I'd just lost my submission acceptance virginity. And it felt good.
Lunch Ticket, an online literary journal from the MFA community of Antioch University Los Angeles, will be featuring Time Stops in their December issue, which can be viewed HERE. I hope you enjoy it!
And what of my other writing endeavours? While I rejoice in this small victory, my work in the world of literature (or whatever you deem my stories as) is far from over. I've submitted my other short story, The Taxidermist's Daughter, to some journals, hoping to start a winning streak after this isolated incident. I've also sent revised queries for Sons of Sludge to some agents. If nothing comes from that, there's an online novel contest next year that might prove interesting. But whatever the case, this isn't the last you will hear from Josiah Upton, the Amateur Writing Bandit!
And to all my friends and family, thank you for your support. Many of you have expressed enjoyment in my writing in the past, and now having a complete stranger say it's worthy to be read by other complete strangers only affirms your sentiments. I hope to never disappoint you!