Sunday, 31 January 2010

balancing out the disappointments...

This month has brought a couple of disappointments.

I already wrote about the first one here...

I can't say more than the poem already says. There is no part two, I'm not sure whether there will be or not, for those people who hoped for a sequel, sorry. It's disappointing isn't it, but there you are, I can't write what hasn't happened, not about this.

The second disappointment is in some ways easier, although you might think I'm nuts for saying that. At Christmas I sent a manuscript to a publisher, a collection of short shorts and prose poems, and I heard back this weekend that they are declining it. I haven't written about the submission or the details, because I didn't want to set up any expectations.

In fact, that it was declined is not a surprise. I rather thought it might be. My work is not very commercial, it falls awkwardly between two genres. If it was poetry or short fiction it might fall neatly into the right categories for everything that is important in publishing, marketing, sales, reviews, audiences. But, that it is prose poetry, poetic short prose, short shorts, and a mix of interpretations of these things, meant it was always going to be a risk for a publisher.

So, there is a feeling of disappointment, but it was anticipated.

The email from the publisher was just right: to the point, it was clear, and it explained why. Actually it was very generous about my writing and the collection and had a tone of regret, but it confirmed my thoughts, that it was being declined because it didn't make commercial sense in the current economic climate. Right now is not a time for risks.

I like the word decline. It is so much nicer than reject.

I'm not sure what my next steps will be, I need time to think it through. Perhaps I will identify other places to send it. Perhaps I will work on it more, veer towards either poetry or fiction, re-edit. Perhaps I will wait and write more, see what happens. I don't know what place there is for a writer like me in the current world of publishing. If there is a place. I write for me, and would find it really difficult to write for commercial reasons. To be honest I can see my rest period from writing drawing out longer and longer. I have some doubts about my writing and me as a writer. It's not connected with the manuscript being declined. It was there anyway.

And the really weird thing for me was how much stronger the first disappointment was, than the second. Somehow, the second one didn't matter so much, as though I feel confident that what will be, will be with my writing, and I'll be alright with that. But disappointment about love, is another thing entirely, one I feel I'll never quite get to grips with, and it always comes like a punch in the gut, even when it is nobody's fault, even if I haven't been let down, even if it's been down to me.

I think probably, there's something to be said for changing my expectations, particularly around love, but it's easier said than done, you know. I just get caught up. And then, things don't work out. Tough titty.

I've been trying to be grounded about everything since the above. The allotment has helped with that, and I've had a lovely time down there this weekend, especially yesterday. Sissy has been a darling, and is right now curled up under my legs as I write this blog, she's having a little snooze and I daresay I might join her soon, because it's like heaven having a little snooze with her. I went to the theatre on friday with my sisters which was good fun, and I'm trying to do all the things I love to keep me balanced.

And there will be other opportunities, perhaps...

6 comments:

Miriam Drori said...

There will be other opportunities, definitely. Because you deserve them.

Rachel Fox said...

Declined, rejected...it all feels like crap!
From the other end of the scale I write what I am sure would be a commercial style if anyone else would publish it! But they don't. Just little old me. It's hard on the lonely roads...
x

Megan said...

Of course there will be other opportunities missus - no perhaps about it.

sonia said...

I want to keep reading you so I hope so.

green ink said...

Everything you write is a treat Annie, even about life's disappointments. There will be more chances for you, of that I am sure.

annie clarkson said...

Thanks for leaving lovely comments xx