Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Almost winning

The Insecure Writer's Support Group exists so that writers can share their fears, worries and concerns and offer support to other members. Do join if you feel it would help you, or that you could help others.

Rejections are something which make me feel insecure. I come up with, what I hope, is a good idea. I spend time expressing it as well as I can and tailoring the style and word length of the story to suit the requirements of a particular publication - and they send it back. Don't they like my stuff anymore? Will the same thing happen to everything else I write? Were my previous acceptances just flukes?

Not winning a competition doesn't worry me anything like as much. Of course I wanted to win, but I can live with the fact that someone out there had a slightly more interesting idea, or one which just happened to appeal to the judge. Maybe it's the best thing they ever wrote, or it could even be that they just got lucky. Thing is, competitions seem to be a reflection on the winners' work, not a criticsm of my own.

Whether you share my view or not, you might like to try a writing competition. I post details of new, free to enter, writing competitions each week. The following all run regularly (most are monthly).

This one is for ghost stories, this one has a different premise each month, for this one you only need write 100 words, you can write on any subject for this one and this one provides prompts. All are free to enter and they all offer some kind of prize.

p.s. See my last post to listen to one of my stories which did win a competition.

26 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Editor could have just been dumped by his girlfriend - who knows? Just have to keep trying.

Diane Burton said...

We never really know why our work is rejected. Sometimes the editor or agent tells us. Most of the time they don't. Hard to improve when you don't know what's wrong. As Alex says, keep trying.

Nicola said...

I assume it doesn't get any easier then Patsy? I've been doing everything possible to get a story accepted with the womags. My name just doesn't fit. I have a wonderul writing friend (who pulls no punches) who assures me I can write and that my work is now at publishing standard. But, I'll keep on going :) As must you! You are an exceptional story teller.

Chrys Fey said...

It's so selective. What one (or a bunch) or editors may reject, another will love. Keep submitting!

Rosemary Johnson said...

Very philosophical, Patsy. I need to write a piece on why it is good to enter comps, and this is good grist for the mill.

Lynda R Young said...

Yep, it's hard not to feel insecure when the rejections roll in. We just have to keep sending those submissions anyway.

Juneta Key said...

I like this "Thing is, competitions seem to be a reflection on the winners' work, not a criticsm of my own." I also agree. Great attitude. I have not had many rejections yet. Two, but that is all I submitted too, lol. I tell myself that rejections is writer's cred. Ya ain't writer till you been rejection 100+ times @@ Yike, no I don't want to be rejected that much, but hey!
Juneta Writer's Gambit

Bryan Jones said...

The 'insecure writers' group' sounds like a great idea. Reading a rejection response is hard enough, but not hearing anything at all can be hugely de-motivating.

Maggie May said...

Writing to editor's requirements is the most difficult thing for me to get my head around. I enjoy writing until someone says you have to do this, that and the other, or it won't fit our magazine. Then I just want to do my own thing and enjoy myself. I suppose it depends how much you want to get published.

Patsy said...

They must have bad days too, Alex.

Patsy said...

Sometimes we get a clue, but as you say we don't usually know and that can be frustrating.

Patsy said...

It gets a bit easier - but not actually easy, Nicola.

I think there are so many writers, competing for such a limited number of publication opportunities that thousands of pieces worthy of publication get rejected.

Patsy said...

That's true, Chrys. Some of my pieces have found homes after several attempts.

Patsy said...

Oh snap - I'm writing on that subject at the moment. Well, not this exact moment, obviously ...

Patsy said...

We do, Lynda. Sent a couple out today - maybe one of those will bring the result I want.

Patsy said...

I've collected more than 100, Juneta - but I've been doing this quite a long time now.

Patsy said...

Yep, Bryan - not hearing isworse than a thanks but no thanks.

Patsy said...

I enjoy the challenge of writing to suit the magazine requirements (or trying to) Maggie. I'm lucky though in that what I'd like to write anyway is already close to the style there's a market for.

oscar case said...

Thsnks for the encouragement and links, Patsy.

Misha Gericke said...

I haven't entered a competition in some time, but I can see where not winning is better than being rejected. The latter just seems so much more personal.

Patsy said...

You're welcome, Oscar.

Patsy said...

Exactly, Misha. I don't suppose it is really, but it feelsthat way.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy - I can see being rebuffed having spent a lot of energy and time writing your book ... yet magazines or short story submissions - there'd be a fair number of them - with some potential always awaiting 'judgement' .. cheers Hilary

Ravyne said...

Great post, Patsy. I have given up trying to figure out why my work gets rejected. I just keep writing and sending though. I wish there was a magic formula though! Good luck with your projects!

Patsy said...

It does help to always have some out, Hilary so that there's always some hope.

Patsy said...

It's frustrating not to know why, isn't it Ravyne? Glad it's not putting you off.