Tag Archives: rejection

Support Networks for Writers


For those of us in the Midlands, it’s been a week of proper winter weather – snow and freezing temperatures has made those everyday journeys suddenly ridiculously difficult. One evening in particular, we had a sudden heavy snowfall and, in the space of a few minutes, the roads went from perfectly passable to treacherous.

We happened to be out in the weather at the time, driving back home through the neighbouring village. Our old Volvo (with almost a quarter of a million miles on the clock!) is four wheel drive and did us proud, but we came across several stranded cars and others wheel-spinning on the ice. We ended up pulling over and helping push several vehicles to get them on their way. There was a real feeling of camaraderie as we, and other passers-by, joined in. It seemed particularly appropriate given the time of year – it being almost the season of goodwill!

It also made me think about support networks and goodwill in general. Us writers can be a little insular at times, but that’s not to say we don’t need (and value) the network of people around us who help us do what we do. Our families, who accept that often we will be busy scribbling alone, and who take an interest in what we do without perhaps really understanding why we bother doing it! Our friends, who take the time to read those dodgy first drafts and make useful comments, or who are quick to provide a hug when things are not going so well. And the wider writing community who are so ready to offer support and encouragement.

Put a post on Facebook about a problem you’re having with your writing and in no time there’ll be a string of comments from other writers telling you they’ve experienced something similar, or offering advice. If you post about a rejection, you’ll get commiserations. If you post about a writing success (however modest) you’ll soon be inundated with generous and humbling congratulatory messages.

So if you find yourself wheel-spinning on your writing journey, don’t worry – just shout, and someone will soon be along to give you a push. And if your writing road is looking pretty clear, don’t forget to pay it forward – in lots of little ways:

  1. tell someone if you like their novel/story/blog (it might be just the lift they need)
  2. tell lots of other people too!
  3. remember to leave a review (for all those people you can’t tell personally)
  4. retweet their tweets
  5. comment on or share their posts
  6. follow their blog or their author page

And most importantly, say thank you to all those who’ve done the same for you:

So, thank you, folks! I appreciate every little push! 🙂

Life after rejection


Confidence is a funny thing.  After a promising round of acceptances over recent months, I’d been on a bit of a writing high.  Thought I’d try my hand at a few more story competitions.  Got scribbling, sent off lots of pieces, and felt like I was making some real progress.  A few weeks down the line and all my efforts have come to naught.  To date, not a single placing or even honourable mention!  Sigh!  Then, last week, I was pipped at the post in a recent job application and felt very gloomy.

Common sense and experience tells you in this situation you should just put it behind you and get on with some more writing, but that’s harder than it looks.  I wasted time on what my mum used to call “pencil sharpening” – i.e. any other task which you can pretend needs to be done in order to begin writing, but which isn’t actually writing.  Into that category falls diversionary house work, personal admin, grocery shopping.  So we had a full freezer, and a vacuumed house, but my fiction word-count was stationary.

Maybe the human mind needs these lulls, maybe it re-charges the batteries. Over the weekend, I started off by tentatively editing some old stuff, neither my brain or heart really in the task.  This morning, I sat down wanting to really get things moving.  One story has gone in the post, another via email.  Two more have just gone off as entries in the spring The Yellow Room magazine competition (closing date, 31st March – so there’s still time to enter – go to http://www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk/www.theyellowroom-magazine.co.uk/Competitions.html for details).  I am not, it has to be said, wholly convinced about any of these stories, but as we all know, they have a greater chance out there in the big wide world than they do languishing in my laptop.

They say the darkest hour is always before the dawn.  In a few weeks, when the snow is gone and we’re basking in sunshine (difficult to imagine, I know) I’m sure everything will look more promising.  In the meantime, while we’re waiting for Spring to be sprung, I’m aiming to keep focused, and keep tapping away at the keyboard.  As we all know, perseverance is the key.  Well, currently, perseverance and a very thick fleecy blanket! 😉