I post links to my published pieces on posts, and list them on my publications page. My successes are visible, and mostly available to read for free. Like my new piece up now at Voidspace Zine called The Bridle King Reads. I love how Voidspace has leaned into technology and said dammit, writers should be using it, playing with it. Thus, my story is an odd little fiction written for Voidspace’s Crash This Prose! interactive writing challenge, where writers must use all the words generated by a timed algorithm the challengers control.
Anyway, as I was saying. This everything else is invisible, unless I choose otherwise, like the choice to list the figures below ↓. This everything else, including these numbers, form the weighty iceberg below sea level.
Everything else is tiring. It’s writing, obviously, and is also learning, working, saving, counting, rewriting, abandoning, collating, note taking, searching, deleting, researching, editing, resting, imagining, reading, justifying, rereading, reediting, experimenting, playing, listing, recording, relearning, trying, pausing, giving. Running away. Returning.
Not stopping despite the failing.
If I stop, I feel like I fail myself, if I don’t try hard enough, the same. If I succeed, I wonder if it’s enough and find that it isn’t. No matter how welcome and cherished, my successes so far are fairly small, in the scheme of things. I’m a tiny fish in an ocean where apparently only books count as success. And, of course my successes aren’t enough anyway, because there is so much more that needs completing.
I’ve been told I need to celebrate my achievements. I’ve lost the knack. There’s the wondrous endorphin hit of the news (an acceptance email, or a publication date, a kind comment, a like). Then I continue doing all the things I need to do; thus, the endorphins drain away, and the rejections continue, and the waiting continues, and the writing happens when it can happen.
I am a writing Sisyphus, burdened with glorious purpose, constantly falling just short of my purpose, like I’m always just short of reaching the arborio rice my local supermarket insists on storing on the top shelf. But I keep buying it anyway. Turns out I need it.
Steady as she goes, the 2022 writing update
- Rejections: 126
- Pending: 46
- Acceptances by publisher: 22
- Acceptances by work: 29
- Published: 25