The Rejection Project was temporarily back-burnered as three ongoing projects (that I can’t talk about yet) all hit at once. Wish for rain, get a storm. That doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about this bit of motivation I’ve created for myself.
In fact, I’ve picked the first magazine I’m going to submit to: Contemporary Verse 2. CV2 holds the honour of being both in my classic, mail-in rejection pile and my more recent digital rejection pile—with a 14 year gap between.
I’m also breaking one of my rules right off the bat. (Poets. Not so good at rules.) I had said that I won’t pay to submit, and that’s still mostly true. However, CV2 hosts a yearly poetry contest/fundraiser called the 2-Day Poem Contest. They send you a list of ten words and you’ve got to write a poem using those words in 48 hours. The reason I’ll waive my no-cash rule for this is because…well, it’s fun. I’ve done it before (I’m still frustrated by the word furuncle) and I had a blast. I love an assignment. I enjoy writing to a theme. Give me a starting point and I can grow from there.
This rejection-themed challenge I’ve given myself exists because I know I like a framework. It’s something creators with ADHD often find helpful. It’s a way to push past the freeze. A starter pistol for our creativity. Plus I get a subscription with my entry, so that also helps with the project. I’ll be able to read a few issues. See what the current editors dig.
This likely wont be the first submission in The Rejection Project, because the contest doesn’t happen until April. I know it will happen, though, because I’ve already paid my entry fee. If I don’t pay it now, I’ll forget. Pre-planning is not my strong suit. It’s not even a whole suit. It’s just the cummerbund. A weak cummerbund.
So there you have it! Update #1 in The Rejection Project. Let me know if you dig contests, if you eschew them, if they inspire you, if they frustrate you. How do you find inspiration to write?
See you in the rejection pile!
A project without a framework is…well, it’s often poetry. But in this case, I think The Rejection Project would benefit from a few rules to keep me moving. They aren’t hard, fast rules because those never work for me. They’re more like guidelines. A series of steps to help me get started when I hit a wall.
Choose a publication to submit to from my rejection pile. I plan to start with the classic, old-school paper rejections, then move on to the digital ones.
Makes sure they still exist. This is publishing and we’re all dust in the winds of change here, so some of these markets may be kaput. RIP old markets. Thank you for sharing words, even if it was only for a while.
Read their submission policies. There are some insta-no policies for me when it comes to submitting. I won’t pay to submit. I may opt not to submit to publishers who don’t allow simultaneous submission and have extremely long response times. I play this one by ear. Since I’m making up the rules, I can break them, too. This step is also a great time to take note of upcoming themes, contests, or special issues that could act as inspiration.
Read a few current issues, if I can. This step will require some flexibility. As much as I’d like to subscribe to everyone—I just can’t. This will be a mix of perusing online content, flexing my library muscles, and grabbing issues when and where I’m able.
Write the damn thing.
Submit the damn thing.
That’s it. The whole shebang. I’ll post after (and probably during) each submission. If you’re playing along, let me know how it works out for you. 2021 quieted so many of our voices. I’d love to see 2022 be a year full of all the words that were stuck in our collective throats (or pens)(or keyboards).
Today I’m going to share the poems I had published while I was on pause.
The first, Salt, was published in poetically magazine‘s premiere issue, wonders of winter. It’s perhaps my most intimate poem.
My minison series, The Seven Stages Via Kübler-Ross, appeared in the third issue of The Minison Zine. A minison is a 14 letter sonnet, and is the shortest form I’ve experimented with.
Three of my poems were published in print journal The Avenue‘s sexuality and gender themed issue. They aren’t available online, but the issue can be purchased here.
If you enjoy my poetry, you can always find more of it here.
CENTRING OUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY
Author Dianna Gunn wears so many hats, I’m starting to think she’s a hydra. When she’s not prolifically penning stories, recording podcasts, or helping authors learn how to market their work, she’s busy creating virtual conferences. There’s one coming up on February 20th called Worldbuilding Deep Dive. I’m particularly jazzed for the Accessibility in Worldbuilding: Understanding How Disabled People Move Through Your World panel. All of the panels are free, though spaces are limited. Writers can sign up here.
Welp, it’s been a few months since I’ve updated my website. Working retail—while disabled, middle aged, and mentally ill—means that November and December are the pit into which all my energy falls. During those months, I pause my writing by necessity. While this is tough (and sometimes makes me blue) it also gives me a chance to refill my creative coffers, rethink my output, and allow my fields of inspiration to lie fallow for a season.
In the meantime, I’ve had a few publications come out. I will be posting them for you as I catch up.
To start with, I’m really pleased to be contributing to the Spoonie Authors Network, sharing some of my thoughts about writing while managing spoons. My first piece, Writing Through the Depressive Lens, talks about the gradual process of embracing rather than fighting the way my neurodiversity informs my writing. The second, How to Zoom While Neurodivergent: So Not a Guide, examines how expected behaviours in virtual spaces can read like a list of neurotypical behaviors, making Zoom meetings inaccessible for neurodiverse creatives.
If you’re a disabled creator of any ilk, you’ll probably find something useful in the articles and podcasts up at Spoonie Authors Network. There’s also a weekly Twitter meet-up! It’s a fantastic resource and I’m chuffed to be a part of it.
CENTRING OUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY
While hanging out on Spoonie Twitter™, I heard about an anthology called Nothing Without Us that features short stories by disabled writers, including pieces by other Spoonie Author Network contributors. This collection is especially good for those days when your brain just can’t handle the commitment of a novel. From helper golems to talking canes to the trials of performing disability for cash in a near-future dystopia, the stories run the gamut of genres, styles and perspectives. Truly, one of my favourite books.