Why am I never satisfied?

The day started with an acceptance of a story called “The Disease of Perception” by a slick new British genre magazine called Diagonal Proof.  It’s a story about how maybe the insane aren’t insane, and that their hallucinations might be symptomatic of a much bigger problem.  The issue with my story in it comes out in August September, but you should check out the current issue hereDiagonal Proof covers most major genres (Action-Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery/Crime, Science Fiction, Suspense/Thriller, Western), so there’s bound to be something you like in there.

About an hour later, I got a rejection for a story that’s been homeless for about three years now.  I would ordinarily say, “well, it must not be very good,” but it spent about three months shortlisted at a very nice magazine only to be ultimately rejected because it didn’t fit the theme of the issue.  Apart from that, I’m very proud of this particular story, and it’s frustrating to see it constantly kicked back to the curb.

It is much easier for a story to be rejected than accepted, and editors will tell you that they reject many, many fine stories.  (This is often part of form rejection letters, but it also happens to be true.)  I tried to take solace in my earlier acceptance.  I really did.  But there’s something about rejection that stings so much worse than an acceptance feels good.  It’s like the one “B” on a report card full of “A” grades.  Now, knowing that a rejection is not a big deal and doesn’t reflect on me as a writer or even on the story, necessarily, why can’t I just be happy?

Add to that, I think I might have writer’s block, but that’s another post…

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