You can’t climb a mountain, unless you believe you can make it to the summit. You have to be optimistic, in order to overcome the inertia and start moving. At the same time, you have to risk the disappointment that will result, if you don’t make it to the top. That is the writer’s dilemma.

Earlier this year I sent a follow-up e-mail to a producer I had submitted a screenplay to. I didn’t receive an answer from the producer, as if I wasn’t even worth the few minutes it would have taken to write a reply.

If your work is refused, and it will be, what are your options? If you stop writing, then you’re allowing the individuals who rejected your work, to decide your future. Why should their opinion prevent you from reaching your full potential as a writer? Some of my short stories were rejected several times, before they were published.

If you’re convinced that a short story has great potential, but it keeps being rejected, perhaps you could take it to a Writer-In-Residence at a local library or university. If you’re a member of a writing group, you could submit it to be critiqued at the next meeting. Since this may not be possible in your situation (or you’re concerned your story might be stolen), another option is to set aside the short story for a few weeks and work on another project. Returning to a story after a break will allow you to see it with fresh eyes, and you may discover new ways to improve it.

If you’re discouraged, learning how bestselling writers approach their careers can be a great help, and Youtube is an amazing source of information. Several successful writers are featured in Evan Carmichael’s “Top 10 Rules” series. You can also search your favourite authors’ names, and you’ll find videos with them delivering keynote addresses at writer’s conferences, speaking at libraries and being interviewed.

I hope you keep writing, because every time a new, passionate voice is heard, the world becomes a more interesting place.

Copyright © 2019 by J. Paul Cooper



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