Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Perfect Storm of Blog Block

I haven't posted in a long time. I'm not going to apologize though, because I just can't believe that people have been sitting around, all huffy and put out that I haven't written anything lately. I have the usual excuses: family, work, writer's block, Etsy (but not Pinterest, because I waste too much time online as it is).

But the truth is that when I think about blogging about the things that are important to me as a writer, I find myself crippled by one of three thoughts:

1. No one is going to care about my thought/opinion/dilemma.
2. Maybe this will count against me if an agent/editor reads this.
3. I'm ashamed of my failure. As writers, we get rejected a lot and we deal with it. But part of me feels like the rejection doesn't sting so much if I'm the only one that knows about it.

I'll even start writing a post and then end up deleting it because of one of the above. And sometimes, there is a perfect storm of doubt, when all three of these thoughts hit at one time and I just take shelter rather than try to post.

But I'm going to share something today. Maybe you won't care. Maybe this will turn off an agent. Maybe it will make the rejection sting that much more. But maybe, just maybe, there is someone else out there who feels this way. Because, honestly, that's why we blog, right? To feel some sense of community and solidarity in this solitary business?

This week, I found out that I did not get into either of the two MFA programs I applied to.

They were both long shots (and I mean LOOONNNNNGGGG shots). The first program gets 1100 applications for six fiction spots, the second has "hundreds" for four spots. But still, better odds than finding an agent, so I took the GREs, badgered some people to write recommendations for me, paid my application fees, and took the gamble.

It didn't pay off. My first thought was that I had wasted the time of my referees, as well as wasted money and time on the GREs and applications process. My second was that I was glad I hadn't told anyone about it so I didn't have to share my failure. And the third was sadness because I didn't get in.

I didn't take the rejection personally. If I'd applied three years ago and been rejected, I would have gone through that whole "doubting myself as a writer" thing. But now, after years of querying and following blogs and reading about the industry, I realize how subjective acceptance is. But, it still hurts. After all these years of writing and querying and rewriting and querying, the rejections pile up and start to leave a mark.

But, all I can do is keep going, keep writing, and sometimes, keep sharing. And ride out the storm.

What about you? Do you find it easy to share online or do any of these doubts stop you posting too?

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