Posts Tagged ‘rejection’

Back in the mists of time (well, last November) I set myself a number of targets for December.

I completed two in their entirety – the ‘Codename Wedding Belles’ poem and the proof-reading amendments for the family tree novel. Woo hoo!

The other two I didn’t do as much as I’d hoped.  With regards to notes, I have a few thoughts and ideas jotted in various places, but I need to pull it all together and expand on the key ideas, which I will do over the next couple of weeks.  The other thing was the woods novel, which has limped onwards very slowly.

But December is gone, and now I have to think about January’s targets: to finish the woods novel first draft by 15 January and to finish revising the family tree novel (ie writing new scenes)  by 31 January.

In other words, welcome to neo-NaNo.

Part one  is all about the woods novel.  I’m making this really hard for myself, because I’m already behind where I should be, but basically I need get to about 85,000 words in less than a fortnight.  I think that’s where the book ends – if it ends before, of course I’ll aim to finish!  If it continues to expand beyond that, I’ll have to revise my position.  I’m not going to worry about ongoing targets per day – in between now and then I have a hen do, a shopping expedition, my cousin and her partner tying the knot (I am reading the poem and am in the order of service – eek!) – so I’m going to look at targets for periods of time instead.

My first target date is 5 January, by when I want to be on 62,000 words.  By the 10 January, I need to reach 73,000 words, and by 15  January on 85,000 words.  We shall see – it’s not impossible to do the words, but as you know I dislike editing as a general rule, so I don’t like to just throw words on the page.  I can cope with +/- 1000 but any more than that and it’ll all go horribly wrong…

Part two is all about the family tree novel.  As there’s fewer words to add, but the piece is at a higher level of editing, it’ll probably take a few days to get the new writing done and edited.  After that, I’ll re-read the whole thing, then send it back to my proofreader for another review.  She’ll get it by 1 February at the latest – I just want to get that one out into the big wide world as soon as I can.  I’m going to have to spend some time looking at publishers, at those which require contact through agents and those that will accept manuscripts sent directly, plus identify possible agents and see what comes of it all.  I really think the book can make it: even though I’m sure a professional editor will go through it with a big red pen, I think it has enough charm and warmth to survive.

And I think I’m strong enough to cope even if it isn’t picked up.  Rejection isn’t nice, of course it isn’t, but it’s not personal.  It doesn’t even mean your work isn’t good; just that it isn’t what they are looking for/what they can market.

Remember that books like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and The Help were rejected time and time again – publishers don’t always think the way a reader might!

Happy writing,



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Week 56 found me disheartened as a writer. Rejections feel personal and when you’ve entered a competition and don’t place, it can feel even worse. But a poetry competition is as much about the preferences of the judge, the feeling they get from the poem, as the validity of the piece – and as a poet I have to stand by my work. I love this poem; by posting it here I will never send it to another competition or off for magazine publication, but you know what – I can live with that. I’d rather people could see it and – hopefully – enjoy it than it sit in a file on my computer for ever more, rejected and sad.

I guess the point is to say love your work, and do it for love, and if other people don’t enjoy it that’s a shame but it’s not the end of the world!  If you want to see the winners, they are here and you will see they are of very different styles to mine!

Afternoon Seaside

A bright warm sun sits on my shoulder,
Parrot-style. It draws my image, elongated
Across a sticky path of dripped ice-cream.

The sea is the colour of Paraiba apatites:
A subtle, shining sheet of gems
Twinkling provocatively in the light.

But the pebbled shore is dry, and dead –
Solar hands bleached its seaweed offering,
As omnipresent seagulls ate shelled day-trippers.

And the wind that wraps me in my hair
Carries a gentle scent – the aromatic
Portent of another change to come:

Clouds form a fence between the heavens
And the earth, as the ever-nearing horizon
Fills with tomorrow’s stormy weather.

So we ignore the imperfections, and the
Cooling evening sun: tomorrow’s end of summer
Makes us glad, today, we’ve come.

So on to my holiday.  I realised very early on how much technology is a part of my life, as on my way my mobile completely failed.  I had no internet there and the dongle I took didn’t work, and then my computer started playing up – but I wonder when it became normal to have all these things on holiday?  This wasn’t a researching trip like last year, so why did I feel the need to look at the internet at all?  I took my computer because I needed to complete a submission (which I did, but am not overly happy with), but why did I feel so lost without a phone?  It’s a good reminder how things have changed over a very short time: I still remember getting my first mobile phone 12 years ago, now people go on Facebook when they’re on a beach on holiday!

Other than that, and the completion of my short story, I wrote a fair few notes but spent most of my time actually being present and engaging with the experiences.  I have returned home with loads of ideas as well as some early format poems so I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into some new pieces.  Although, as you know, I’m not exactly a skilled photographer I am hoping that the images I recorded will be a reminder of the feelings that each place and scene evoked.   I will keep you updated on progress…

I’ve also started planning for October’s projects so I hope to give you a bit of a heads-up about that next week.

Until then – happy writing from a very well rested me!



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