In the organised chaos that is my computerised filing system I’ve got a folder called ‘accepted (EMPTY)’. If I really wanted to bludgeon myself over the whole attempting-to-get-stuff-in-print cycle, I’d have a rolling number in the ‘rejected’ folder title, but I’m not quite that masochistic, and I deal quite well with rejection.
ANYWAY, the point – and almost every single person I know on Facebook knows this already, and thank you all so much for being so lovely about it – is that on Thursday I was able to change the name of that folder to just plain ‘accepted’.
Yep, it’s no longer empty. In it is the Procne/Philomela poem that I was going on about last week. The one that I said I might put up on my blog if it didn’t make the shortlist. Yeah, that’s not happening anymore, not least because maybe some of you might be curious enough and love me enough to buy the For Books Sake Furies anthology when it comes out (October this year, I believe).
That would be a Very Good Thing To Do, since the anthology is, as I mentioned, raising money for Rape Crisis, which is a Very Good Cause.
Do I sound calm? I wasn’t calm when I found out the poem was accepted. Not even slightly. I was in a pub and shrieked and waved my arms around like a frustrated T-Rex.
I babbled so that my friend had no idea what was going on. Then I got a bit teary. I am so unemotional about rejections that I had, literally, no idea how happy I would be to get into the anthology until it happened.
I hope this won’t be the one and only time my work is accepted somewhere, and if it’s not, I hope I will never ever become blasé about someone wanting to publish my stuff.
I like writing, so I will do it regardless of rejections. I had, in fact, just been talking to a friend about that very thing when I got the acceptance email. But that doesn’t mean I’m not HUGELY excited to be being printed. Because as much as I will keep writing and getting hapless friends and family to read my stuff just so it gets read, it gets a bit lonely sometimes. It gets difficult to explain the hours tapping into a computer to your friends, or to excuse yourself to scuttle off to a café at lunchtime and spend that hour in a different headspace.
So this is a bit like a foot in the door, or like I can justify myself a bit. I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling like a fraud – I spent hours on Procne Prepares, and still half-think I just got lucky (which I did – right poem for the right editor on the right day) rather than am any decent – but I feel like a more convincing fraud than I did.
I can’t remember if I said in writing, near the beginning of the year, that I want to get just one poem and one story out there this year, and then I’ll be happy. But that’s what I’ve been saying to myself. It’s really nice to tick one off.