I really just had to stop writing for a while. It can be so frustrating, so unrewarding. In business, I did something and I saw the results, usually right away. And people told me what they thought about what I did – good or bad.
But it’s not like that for a writer. You get a LOT of rejections and usually there’s no explanation. Even when something gets published, the feedback is minimal. And there’s this growing feeling I’ve been having that science fiction stories just don’t matter as much as securing the computer networks of large corporations – which is what I did in the business world. And it’s true! SciFi stories are just entertainment. But an unsecure computer network can cost a company billions, cause people to lose their jobs, upset who-knows-how-many customers, etc.
I got to the point where I couldn’t write anything. It was probably triggered by the repeated rejection of a story that’s one of my personal favorites – a story I’m convinced is better than dozens of published stories I’ve read. I originally called it Intelligent Designers, then changed the name to Just a Minor Firmware Upgrade. Although it’s gotten its share of form rejections, there have been two odd personal rejections, one mentioned earlier in this blog in THIS post, and one a few days ago – two words long – “Not Bad!” That’s it. A form rejection with Not Bad! tacked onto the end of it. Thanks a lot for nothing!
I know that rejection is the universal experience of the writer (unless you’re already a celebrity or someone in the public eye), and that a thick skin is a prerequisite for this trade. So maybe I’m just not someone who ought to be doing this.
But then, this morning, I wake up, the sun shining, Tucson basking in unseasonable warmth. I’m feeling good and I think – “who cares? I’ll write what I want to write, I’ll make it the best it can be. If they reject it – well it just wasn’t for them, but it won’t be because it was poorly written.”
And so it goes – one day discouraged, the next day motivated. Am I unusual? I doubt that!