Monday, 28 September 2015

The lows of rejection

Had another batch of poem returned today, so I am feeling a bit bruised! I now only have my novella out there (D Day is late December). I am going to take some time now to think about my poetry, whether to continue sending it out. I am, I suppose, despondent and confused. I read poetry by others and sometimes I wonder why this and not mine? My taste is different, I guess. Again I wonder about Creative Writing Degrees. Everyone seems to have one, or a PhD. Is this what makes them a better writer than me? Does the fact that I don't understand a lot of what is written due to the fact that I just don't understand how poetry works? Magazines all say have a unique voice, do this, do that, but at the end of the day it's down to preference. I wouldn't give house room to some of the poetry I read, yet others get all fired up by it. Then I see great poetry which never gets it's due.

I am always raw after a rejection and I've had lots this year, yet I think my writing is stronger now than ever. Obviously my work still doesn't cut it and maybe never will, so should I just not bother? Certainly I haven't had the desire to write poetry in a long time. Partly that's because of my obsession to write fiction, though there are so many great books out there perhaps I am wasting my time there too. I can only ever do what interest me and right now fiction is my preferred writing.

I have lots of poetry books and pamphlets to read. I shall enjoy them, I'm sure. Whether I will write any of my own again....we shall see. (A self wallow is well needed!)


  1. Hi Heather, rejections are a huge blow, aren't they? I've had a lot of rejections this year too and it does wear you down sometimes. And like you, I often wonder at the apparent disjunction between what the editors say they look for and what ends up in the mag. It is CERTAINLY down to personal taste, but also what they've also got lined up for that issue and other factors out of our control. A rejection isn't necessarily about the quality of the work. You and I know all this but it's worth reminding ourselves and not letting it stop us from writing. Having said that it sounds like your heart is more in fiction at the moment, so maybe a break from poetry is what you need, but I'm sure the urge will come back. Think of all the good stuff you've written and the success you've had and reassure yourself you are a POET. I also used to think maybe I should do a Creative Writing MA or something, but it would be for the contacts rather than for the content, and I think there are other ways to do that. Good luck, keep the faith and thanks for your honesty :)

  2. Thank you for your comment, Robin. You are right and I know this. I should never write just after a rejection! I have to have my tantrum and wallow. Your words are encouraging and sometimes I just need to hear these things, so thank you for reminding me. I shall try to keep the faith. I'm sure I will write more poetry (I've given up before only to find myself scribbling on a tatty piece of paper) Thanks again. All the best for your own writing.