A Great Perspective
You're frustrated. I know. This might totally wreck my credibility as a writer, but in the past twelve months that I have been writing I have not had a single piece published or placed in a competition and so believe me, I get it. But what I want to share with you today is a little piece of wisdom that's going to help you get over it and get on with it, and the wisdom comes courtesy of Simon from The Blether.
Now as you may or may not know, when I'm not pretending to be an author, I work as a bookseller in one of Perth's better known independent book stores. I love my job- truly. It is inspiring to spend my days surrounded by books and people who love books. But for the same reason it can also be a little daunting. The world has so many writers in it. There is no guarantee of a place for me. Now, you may not know this, but Simon has recently become a bookseller there as well, and last night as we were driving through the dark streets of Mosman Park (aka where the rich people live) we were discussing bookselling, writing, and life in general. And when I happened to mention that I was getting frustrated by my lack of success in the last twelve months, Simon had the following to say: (I am paraphrasing.)
"I imagine submitting stories to competitions and magazines is a little like trying to help a customer find a book to read when they're not really sure what they want. Every customer is different. At the end of the day, a literary magazine is still a product for sale, and sometimes your piece is not going to fit with what they imagine their end result to look like."
Following on from having this knowledge bomb dropped on me, today I found out that not only had a new magazine rejected my favourite piece of this year, I had also failed to place in a competition judged by one of my favourite Australian writers. Boo.
But it was pretty easy to shake off this time.