Thursday, March 30, 2006

Writers are Weird

"An absolutely necessary part of a writer's equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself." - Irwin Shaw

Writers are really strange folk.

I got to thinking about it today when I was reading a bit of story crit in a writing group. The person who posted her writing mentioned that, in response to specific feedback from an agent -- and subsequent rejection of her manuscript -- she had modified her first chapter.

The response to her post included the comment: "Congratulations on specific feedback from the agent!"

Now, keep in mind, I seconded that sentiment. But it made we wonder what kind of people we writers are when rejection, as long as it included some personal feedback, is cause for celebration.

I can remember, last year, getting a story rejected by Womans World that included both a compliment -- "I like your breezy style of writing" -- and specific feedback. Then I was told that the story was utterly worthless, couldn't be salvaged.

And I was thrilled.

Thrilled.

Thank you sir, may I have another?

*mutters and shakes head, wandering away from the computer*

1 comment:

Ceri said...

I wear my rejections like badges of honor. To me its proof that I'm brave enough to put my work out there for someone to judge. And I grasp at every positive comment and use the negative ones as stepping stones to being better.

Usually WW sends generic notes for rejections. At least when you get one that has personal comments you know that its really been considered by them. Its one step closer. I received a personal rejection from the fiction editor at WW after they had my story for about 6 months. I thought she was being sarcastic, but then I thought, well it made it as far as her desk so someone liked it. I'm sure she wasn't being sarcastic though. It was the first rejection that miffed me because I thought the story was really good... better than most that they publish.

but thats just my opinion. :)