Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Writers, Expectation, Rejection, and Publication

"If you don’t expect anything, you can’t be disappointed. If you expect nothing, life becomes stagnant because change can’t occur. There’s nothing wrong with expectations. Don’t allow them to overwhelm you. Let expectations blossom into hope."
(Karen L. Newman)

This comes from the blog post "Sloshing Through Slush - Expectations" at the Apex book company website. The post discusses writers who come submit to magazines with the expectation of automatically being published again because they were published once. However, it is this last paragraph that seems most important. It is no secret among writers that we tend not to be the best judges of our own work. If the writer thinks it is flawless, it usually isn't. If we think it's horrible, we are usually wrong.

However, to look solely at expectations, I do not know of any writer who does not send in their submission without an expectation of publication, whether it is the first time or the 100th time. It is the expectation (hope) that keeps a writer sending out work. Rejection continually grinds on that hope, wearing it down until it is paper thin, but it keeps right on existing and the writer keeps right on submitting. Or at least, that is what is supposed to happen.

Can rejection finally kill the hope of publication? Probably. However, it would definitely have to work awhile to do it.


Stacie said...

I would like to hope that if the writter keeps getting turned down, they would move to another piece before they get so discouraged that they give up.

Jennifer said...

I do believe that expectation and hope are two different things, though. Like, I expect you to still be alive, and I hope things went well in LA. :)