Michelle Wittle on Rejection Letter Number 2

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Remember in my blog about my first rejection letter, I told you how the person wrote me back and gave me some much appreciated criticism? Then I know you remember how I was going to rework the story and send it again? Well, I did and I think you can tell by my title how it was received.

But just like before, I am not angry or upset. They sent me more constructive criticism and I am really very touched by it. This person has read my work twice and has not said I was an untalented hack who should just find the nearest ocean and see if I float. This person has been kind enough to think about my story and offer advice. Also, I didn’t disagree with any of their points and I think that may be why it is so much easier to handle the rejection.

I did do a major rewrite to the story and that may have hurt me loose my focus on what story I was trying to tell. This new story became one about my vision of how we love people and where we place those that we love. It wasn’t executed well enough because the reader had many important questions that my story should have answered. They wanted to know what story I was trying to tell and I thought about it. I couldn’t answer them because I didn’t know myself. I thought I was telling my story right, but I was forcing the story into the flash fiction genre. Maybe that is the problem.

I think as an artist, we have this constant struggle in our minds and our hearts. Do you write our stories and stand by them regardless of what popular opinion may demand or do we rework it until it sells? Is that called selling out if we create a piece to fit into someone’s book or magazine? Or could we call it being creative because we listened and we were able to rise to the challenge and we created something we didn’t even know was in us in the first place? As artists, we need to answer the question what are we writing for?

 I know that there are plenty of other magazines and maybe I should just give up on this one. Perhaps another reader will love my story as it is and no rewrites are needed. After two tries, all I have is an opinion. But I do like the challenge and the fastest way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t do it. Also, I feel like because this person is so kind to continue writing me back, I owe it to them to produce something really great. The second story wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t get their advice and I do like the second story a lot and I might try to stop forcing it into a genre and just let it flow. 

So now I will once again go back into my story and try to figure out what I want to tell my audience. I will continue to keep you posted.

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