What Goes Up…

20130521-171801.jpgBack in January, I got off my ass and sent off a couple of my short stories for possible publication or entry into a prestigious (gak) writing program. One of my stories has been accepted and will be published next month. I was wait listed for one writing program.

Because I have ADHD (for real, but not medicated), I thought I’d missed the deadline for the second program, Bread Loaf, because I failed to check off the box on my handy-dandy To Do list. These ADHD tricks don’t work so well if I neglect to use them, dumbass. However, it turns out I did in fact apply. Because late last night I got the rejection letter. They accepted only 19% of the applicants, but damn it, I thought I’d be in the minority.

The notice put a rain cloud over my successful race.

It shouldn’t have. Just yesterday morning I was thinking maybe I should give up my writing dreams. I’ve not felt especially creative in months. And except for this bad news, I can’t say I’m particularly plagued by my dry spell.

But who am I if not a writer? I could type before I could handwrite. I’ve been reading since I was three. My head is often lost in some silly fantasy. Not considering myself a writer leaves me feeling like I’ve lost something.

Or have I? Perhaps this is an opportunity awaiting discovery. Or maybe just being is enough, that I don’t need to define myself by proving I’m a writer worth reading.

Maybe I’ve just given up or maybe I am making peace with a truth.

My biggest danger is feeling like a fraud. I don’t know to whom, although I suspect it’s my mother’s self-satisfied smirk I’m picturing. She’s always been the monster at the top of the stairs, the one who shoved me down and laughed at my broken body at her feet.

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4 thoughts on “What Goes Up…

  1. That is a tough one: Are you doing it for you or to prove her wrong. I struggle with it, though not as much. I think it’s one of those things you just have to plow/work through. I think it’s okay to feel bad being rejected, but don’t let it rain on your wonderful race success. I will never be able to do a race, and I had so much fun enjoying your pride and delight with you.

  2. In the scientific publishing world, I revise and resubmit. Perhaps you could do that as well. Everyone gets rejection letters–Hemingway’s novels were rejected over and over. I know the feeling of getting a rejection letter. But in a few days, you will feel like getting back on the horse and riding again.

  3. I wonder how many of those people who got a place at “Bread Loaf” were rejected the first time around. Quite a few, I bet. It’s ironic that you ask yourself whether you’re a writer, and then yet the first thing you do to help you work through your feelings about the rejection letter is to blog. 🙂

  4. tundrawoman says:

    Why can’t you do and/or be more than one entity at a time? You can be a writer and a runner and an athlete and an editor and a mom and-well, you know, all the “labels” you are now. Do you have to write every day between (certain hrs.) to be a writer? Do writers get Vacation Time? Holidays?
    PV, what exactly *is* a “writer?” Really. Obviously, it’s someone who writes-I get that. But what else? What does this mean-“To be a writer?”
    TW

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