Rejections and Acceptances: Challenging Myself to Do Better in 2022.

As 2022 begins, I goad myself to come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions. So much is out of my control-the coronavirus, the political divisiveness, our warming planet-I remind myself it is still possible to initiate positive change. I can share in my writing what I witness. Each day I have the opportunity to do something just a little better, in small ways. My words won’t necessarily change others, but just getting them out there is a good thing.

Last year I resolved that I would get published multiple times in small journals. Each time a piece I felt good about was rejected, I submitted it again to two other publications. If I received two rejections in one day, I’d try to send out four submissions, maybe even six.

No one likes to be rejected. Repeated rejections might mean the work wasn’t worthy of publication, but in many cases the rejection letters expressed admiration for my work and an invitation to submit again. Sometimes there was a request for further revisions. Unfortunately, this did not ultimately mean the piece was accepted, but I have a firm belief that if you work hard enough at something your work will yield results.

Helpful feedback from my writer friends in self-directed workshops, helped fuel my quest for self-examination of my craft. Continually reading the work of different authors, attempting to expand my scope of literary knowledge, as well as reading the work of emerging voices freshly published in small magazines all propelled me towards my goal.

I live to write. I write to live. A compulsion that fuels my mind and an escape from the doldrums of life’s messy details, writing pulls it all together.

I push myself hard to succeed and eventually- I experience progress. Sixteen pieces with my byline, Nadja Maril, were published by small literary magazines in 2021. Three more creative pieces are already slated to be published in 2022.

As I look back and review accomplishments and failures, I can see that while publications strive to be as inclusive as possible they each have specific tastes and preferences that may have very little to do with the quality of what they read. What resonates with one editor does not necessarily resonate with another. The filters of various readers, who may or may not have their own specific point of view further narrows down the opportunities for writers who submit “blind” to a publication. (Note for anyone who is unfamiliar with the term blind submissions, it means unlabeled with the author’s name and biography.) Once you’re known and have established friends among editors, the going may get easier, but I have yet to arrive. I calculate that for every acceptance I have received nine rejections. Do the math and that’s a lot of rejections.

So what are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2022? I post them here for posterity to hold myself accountable:

1)Keep up the pace of writing and submitting established in 2021

2)Do a final assessment and revision of the novel I’ve been working on the past four years and pursue publication.

3)Start assembling and adding to the bits and pieces of memoir essays I’ve written, to assemble a cohesive collection of CNF.

4)Build a writer website for sharing my work and projects.

Until I get that website up and running, I’m posting here the links to my creative work published in 2021. Thank you to all the magazines that shared my work with their readers.

The Bird Seed, Vol. I issue 2, non-fiction flash,”Tomato Harvest Management”

Creative Café Project, Café Lit Magazine, short story “Uncle Max’s Gift

Defunkt Magazine, Volume VII- ( p.33) The short story “Tenants”

Devil’s Party Press, Instant Noodles- The short story- “Lovely”

Dribble Drabble Review, Fall Issue 4, dribble, “Sunflowers”

Hushed Heartache, prose poem “It’s a Bargain”

Invisible City Literary Magazine, memoir essay, “The Land Holds My Memory”

Lumiere Review, non-fiction flash “We Bought the Kelly Green Dress”

UAMS literary journal, Medicine and Meaning, short story, “The ‘C’ Word”

Miniskirt Magazine Vol. 1 issue 9, non-fiction flash, “The Nature of Basil”

Pareidolia Literary, Vol, 2 Wunderkammer, non-fiction flash, “Love in the Kitchen”

The Pigeon Review- The short story- “You Meet the Strangest People Hitchhiking”

The Potato Soup Journal- the short story- “The Perfect Picture”

Sledgehammer Literary, CNF flash, “Freedom”

Thimble Literary Magazine- Hybrid form prose story, “Red Roses”.

Northern Arizona University, Thin Air Magazine 2021 Volume 27, memoir essay, “Bareback Rider”- print copies only

Originally published at http://nadjamaril.com on January 2, 2022.

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Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril

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