Take a few minutes today. Reflect on what you’ve done, on what you want to do. Reevaluate your goals. Embrace those items that you have the power to change? Let go of those things that are out of your control? Mediate. Pray. Focus. No really, before you finish reading this, at the very least take a deep cleansing breath and let go of the one thing that is giving you the most stress today.
We are now one month into the program. Hopefully a few of you have had some successes in that time. Remember the turnaround for most publishers is at least thirty days, so don’t get frustrated if you haven’t heard back. A friend of mine asked how the program was going and I told him that I am getting excellent practice in receiving rejection. Once I explained the facts, that fewer than 1 in 50 works are accepted at most publications, less than 1 in one thousand at many of them, he marveled that I must have a monumental ego to survive all of the ego-bruising. I just had to laugh.
Remember we are working on realistic goals with the understanding that it is not going to happen overnight. The best that we can do is pay attention, learn from our mistakes and plan accordingly.
And don’t underestimate the joy of the journey. If I write fifty short stories in the next three months and don’t publish a single one of them, at least I can collate my favorites into an anthology. By the program year’s end, I will have something like two hundred stories to draw from. I have stretched myself into places I didn’t think I could. I’ve created a cast of characters and new worlds that I can draw from in the future. I’ve found my silly and my scary, my sad and my sweet, a legion of voices now at my command. After all, isn’t that what writing is all about?
So, your last story didn’t come out quite the way you wanted it to. You have a couple (or couple dozen) rejection letters in your inbox. Shrug it off and start over again. After all, today is a brand new day!