Everybody’s Got a Story

A couple of years ago I spent a week at a writing workshop. There were twelve people in my group, and at least ten other groups just as large there. It wasn’t cheap, yet there was a waiting list to attend. I had to sign up online within minutes of the registration opening or run the risk of not getting in. Some seminars require writing samples and a written submission of goals, but the only requirement for that particular one was a willingness to pay, plus the desire to be sequestered in the beautiful Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon with several well-known authors and some writer wannabes for a week. I love submitting to literary magazines. Two different short stories of fiction and one very short essay of mine have been accepted by different publications, but a ton more have been rejected. Letters tend to be polite and a little cold, something along the lines of, “This isn’t a good fit for us at this time but we enjoyed reading your work and wish you well in future endeavors.” Only once did I get one that actually made me believe the editor had spent significant time with my submission.The first time I sent something and it wasn’t accepted, I don’t remember but I probably cried. I had put so much into it, I had convinced myself it was a shoo-in. Now when I send something and get an email saying the piece isn’t a “good fit”, I shrug and send it someplace else. Scott Russell Sanders, a writer I admire and who taught at that workshop in the mountains, reminded me to write for myself. He knew fiction to be my first love and told me, “Writing fiction is so much fun. You get to play God.”


Photo courtesy Ramdlon at Pixabay.com

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