Beat me on the bottom!

Beat me on the bottom!

I’m in Woman’s Weekly this week. ‘How to Write a Short Story’.

I make it sound so easy. Just follow these seven simple rules…!

But it’s not.

Writing – being able to write something that you can string together and call a ‘story’ is only the beginning of the battle. Fine tuning it into something you’re relatively proud of is a greater challenge – all that chipping away at words. Rewriting. Honing down. Trimming back the slack. Getting rid of the irrelevant and unnecessary. I’m never really SURE it’s as good as it gets. I just hope it’s good enough. Fingers crossed.

And then there’s the awful, relentlessness of trying to find a home for the piece. A magazine, a broadcaster, a competition…ahead of which is an anonymous name and job title – a keeper of the keys that needs to be courted. Sometimes over and over again, just to ask them to READ the work. Many don’t. And asking them to LIKE it is even harder.

Too many times I’ve received the ‘not quite right for us’ message. A gentle but firm rejection with no further recourse for conversation. A door quietly shutting, leaving me, the recipient, unsure if it’s ajar for another time or shut and locked forever. Usually, I presume the latter.

Being a writer is an act of masochism. Believe it. I do it because it’s part of me. What I was born to do. But the rejection is frequent and painful.

This week’s 450 words is real achievement. Thank you if you read it. xx

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