Rejections, recognitions and reaffirmations…

In the past month I’ve received one rejection of a poem from a magazine editor, one acceptance of a poem by another magazine editor (hurrah!) and two online recognitions of my poetry; one from Baby Wisdom, and one from the blogger Slummy single mummy (as part of her brilliant review of Musings on Mothering).

When I receive a rejection I feel sore, wounded and then baffled… (since each poem is my own precious ‘baby’ – born of my spirit.)

‘But that was my best poem by far!’ I exclaim. Then I think ‘Oh well.’ Grump.

But I accept the rejections because they strengthen my resolve to hone my writing; to make it as good as it can be.

They also help me to reaffirm why I write. I have to write. I love writing and I cannot help but write.

Solar-powered fairy lights in tree
Solar-powered fairy lights in tree

When I won the Swanezine Short Story Competition last year, as well as spending some of the prize money on prosaic things like food, I bought some solar-powered outdoor fairy lights. I thought I could put them in our old apple tree, by my daughter’s little patch of soil and we could make a magical fairy grotto out of it. It’s not quite like that at the moment… but still, when the fairy lights come on in the evening and I catch sight of them, I remember the competition and think ‘ah!’. Big smile. It inspires me to keep on writing; and at the end of the day if — and no doubt when — I receive more rejections I know it doesn’t really matter. Yes, it would be great if I could earn a little money from my poetry to help towards food and bills, but I write because I love to write, and I will have faith that although my style of writing isn’t right for some magazines I will keep on going and write in my own ‘Marija’ style. A person’s own style is unique. I cannot be (and therefore, write) what I am not.

Conclusion: write, write, write; reappraise, refine and hone your writing; be yourself. Then wait and see…

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