For a while, I’ve held back sharing my stories. I used to share more often, posting them to a blog writing competition or the occasional short story contest. However, the competition closed down because of busyness, and I didn’t submit to anything else really except a little group of friends.
I guess I was scared. Nervous to send my writing out and get rejected (not my first time trying) so I didn’t search for anywhere else. However, one of my goals this year was to change that. So I wrote a couple short stories. But I only submitted one of them: a short nonfiction. I submitted it to Farm and Ranch Living in January. It was just a little story about one of the several kittens I helped to raise. I didn’t think it was that great either.
I was hoping, but not expecting anything. I figured it would turn out like the other stories I’d submitted to magazines. There would be silence. And silence. And silence. Until I’d finally given up and realized they’d never used my story.
However, this time was different. A couple weeks after I submitted it (a looong couple weeks later), I got an email from the editor, asking for a couple more details to the story and maybe did I have a picture?
I was elated and quickly answered. After that… more silence. I heard nothing for about a month and a half. I decided that they were maybe a little interested but then decided to kick it out when better stories came around.
Guess what I got in the mail on Saturday? A complimentary copy of the April/May Farm and Ranch Living and a letter saying my story was on page 9! Farm and Ranch Living edited it. But it’s still my story. And it’s still published in a magazine.
It would be really great if I could say that I woke up one day, jotted down the story, sent it in and was instantly selected.
Nope. Not even close.
I’ve been writing since for as long as I can remember and this is the first time I’ve been publicly published like this. I’ve won contests, but published?
Each day is a stepping stone. Each time you sit down to write, you can get better. Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes not.
Without all the other writing I have done, I wouldn’t have been published here. Without the other rejections I’ve had… zilch. I wouldn’t have grown.
Peoples–my dear, awesome, amazing readers–you, don’t stop writing! Even if you’re feeling discouraged (as I was Friday), don’t stop. I’m going to be totally clichés-ish here, but it’s true. (And that’s why you’ve heard it so much). Failure isn’t falling down, it’s not getting up again.
What gives you the courage to keep going?