Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bea-ing Jaded

Jaded, tired, weary, fed-up. We all feel that way from time to time.

When I look at my submissions summary it’s easy to see why I may be feeling a little down in the mouth at present. I have submitted nothing new during October. Of the 16 submissions outstanding from August and September only one has sold whilst seven have been rejected.

Too many rejections; only one story 'Sold'.
I don’t feel guilty at not having written anything new this month. We have been camping and then had friends to stay, then more friends to stay, then been away again to visit family. Sometimes writing takes a back seat. But if I go too long without writing I start to get twitchy. So it’s time I picked up my pen.
I always think of jaded as an adjective. I hadn’t realised that jade is a noun too. A jade is a bad-tempered or disreputable woman. I have no wish to be considered as either of those.
So I shall pick myself up and smile. Being positive, I still have eight pieces of work under consideration. One of the rejections came with some suggestions and an invitation to resubmit.
So no more excuses. I shall return to my writing desk. It’s time for me to get some more stories out there.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Bea-ing Impatient

As a child I spent Saturday mornings listening to ‘Children’s Favourites’ (later known as ‘Junior Choice’) on the radio. Many of the records played then are fine examples of flash fiction, telling a complete story in very few words, songs such as: ‘Grandfather’s Clock’ (The Radio Revellers); ‘Nelly the Elephant’ (Mandy Miller); ‘El Paso’ (Marty Robbins); ‘Copacabana’ (Barry Manilow).

One of my early favourites was Bernard Cribbins’ song-cum-monologue, ‘Right said, Fred’. It tells the tale of an impatient removal man. Fred doesn’t want to wait while his colleagues have a cup of tea and plan how best to move a piano from an upstairs landing. Fred is too hasty and things end badly for him.
My daughter's dog Freddie waiting impatiently for his mistress to return
Patience is an important part of a writer’s life. It is tempting to write a story then send it off straight away, then bash on with the next one. But as Fred learned, it doesn’t do to be hasty. I am learning the importance of waiting before I submit, to put the story aside for a few days and visit it again. There are inevitably mistakes I’ve failed to spot and plot weaknesses that need to be addressed. 

Then there is the long wait between submission and acceptance (hopefully) or rejection. Of course that is out of my hands. I have stories that I submitted 5 months earlier on which I am still awaiting a response. However I’m pleased to say that a story I submitted 4 weeks’ ago has today been sold.

Sometimes it’s hard not to be impatient, isn’t it?