At the tail-end of last year and the beginning of this year, I challenged fear. I told myself, “You will submit your work to prominent literary magazines, online journals, and poetry hosting sites. You can and you will.” I did this. I stepped out of my reserved comfort zone and decided to dive into the shaky waters of the publishing world again. I found out three things: I am a “polished writer,” I have what it takes, but my “work isn’t quite what we’re looking for at the moment,” and I have a “unique voice, distinctive, however, the work submitted is just not a good fit” for this magazine.
I also found out that my poetry, although denied by a couple of literary journals is hosted far more than my essays and non-fiction work. Because I made the decision to submit my work once again for consideration to several entities, three of my poems have been published. I would be lying if I said I was not elated by this, but poetry does not draw in the big bucks.
I have a goal set for myself and that goal is to write one to three articles that will turn heads, make eyes water, become key pieces of conversations for years to come, and warrant a decent amount of money with each article published. I want to do this in hopes of having writing become closer to a full-time profession for me in the near future. Even if I do not succeed in having it take over as my main source of income, I want to at least decrease my normal full-time work-week by four hours each day.
On average, with some of the big-name magazines and online journals, a writer is paid $0.50 to $1.00 per word submitted. If those articles are anywhere from nine to sixteen hundred words, a significant payout would be issued.
Two of my essays were denied by a prominent partnered publication here on Medium. I love this particular magazine. I read it religiously. I see what is published and my work falls in line with most of the articles there, so I am not submitting and have not submitted something that does not meet their requirements.
After receiving both rejection letters, I started to question myself — my ability as a long-form writer. The first question was, “Am I losing my spark?” The second question was, “Is my work not likable enough for even a chance at being published in this magazine?” I sat with those questions and I worried over them.
It was easy to slip — I almost fell . . .
I came close to finding myself back in the grimy holes of depression because I felt unworthy and unheard. I wondered more than I probably should have about whether or not my work was actually read or if my profile and credentials were reviewed and considered. I mourned the rejections, tweaked both articles, and self-published them here to Medium. I refused to let any tears fall that welled up in my eyes over my hard work and tireless efforts.
I came close to finding myself back in the grimy holes of depression because I felt unworthy and unheard.