Monthly Archives: September 2020

The (Defeating) Path to Publication

“Look in the mirror and repeat”
by Tray Taylor
IG @allusiontoreality

How is it possible to stay positive when you keep getting met with rejection?

I’ve been posing this question to myself for the past couple of weeks. I recently took an initiative to try to get my writing published. While in grad school writing took a backseat for a few years, and now that I graduated this past May- I have my focus back on my true passion of writing.

A perhaps strange fact about me is when I was younger, I loved getting rejection notices, because it still meant my writing was being received. Lately, it has felt defeating and left me questioning my own abilities.

In those moments I try to think of advice from writers I admire. Remembering reading their journeys of how they got to where they are and that is was often met with rejection before it was met with admiration.

Some of the things that I have added to my to-do list to get past these drowning feels of rejection are:

  • Reading poetry – lots and lots of it
    • I’m trying to remember that reading words from poets I admire can inspire me to keep going. Some of the poets I keep reading over & over lately: Rudy Francisco, Mary Oliver, & Andrea Gibson. If you haven’t read any of their work – go read it now…even if you aren’t looking to get inspired to write…I promise you these poets will inspire you to DO ANYTHING you’ve been looking to get inspired to do.
  • Painting
    • This is not my area of expertise in any shape or form – believe me I have close friends that can ACTUALLY paint. However, my partner recently bought me a plethora of things to paint with and I have found it to center me when I need it the most. I’ve been experiencing plenty of “down” feelings lately because of writers block as well as rejection letters – so I am grateful for this newly discovered outlet. (Shameless plug of my “art” Instagram: @allusiontoreality).
  • Going for a walk
    • This is something I used to do a lot when I lived in Philly and that habit stopped when I moved to DC – p.s. Philly, I miss you. Starting back up the daily walking habit has helped though. Just as much as searching for flowers to take pictures of as I go. Looking for beauty around me to remind me of the importance of not allowing myself to stay in the negative headspace.
  • Sitting with it
    • Sometimes this is the most important thing to do. I allow myself to feel the feelings for a few moments, and then pull myself together to make a plan for the next move.

As I write this I am already thinking of the list of submissions I will make for this week.

What are somethings that get you through feelings of defeat? Or fellow writers, do you have any advice for feeling like you’re on a road that keeps putting rejection signs in your path?

The Soundtrack of My Week

“Give yourself a break”
by Tray Taylor
IG @allusiontoreality

What a week.

As I type that I can hear Jack Donaghy in my head reminding Liz Lemon it’s only Wednesday. The show has been off for years, and I still find 30 Rock references to be relevant in my everyday life. *cue the BLERGH sound effect*

For the sake of my own sanity, I have been forcing myself to find pockets of joy in every possible way. Lately, music has been what is bringing me that flash of glittering happiness. Whether it is listening to the music on my laptop, headphones, or vinyl on my record player.

The songs are never the same genre and never within the same decade. My music taste is vast and it ranges over a plethora of time periods. I owe that to my “old soul” personality and to my Dad who raised me to appreciate a wide array of music. So, if you ever need a partner on “Name that Tune” just send me an e-mail and I am game.

I am going to share the songs that have been getting me through this week within this post. Maybe they will inspire you to make a playlist. (Just a note, I have a playlist for every season and every moment or mood. I take making playlists very, very seriously.) Maybe my song suggestions will help you to discover a new artist or song. I just know what the power of music has done for me when I use it intentionally. And maybe, with intention, you will be able to find a tune to get lost into – if even for a moment. Those tiny moments are vital right now.

So what are my songs of the week you might be wondering?

  1. Hot Stuff – Donna Summer & Kygo

Overall, this week I have been listening to (on repeat) a “disco diva” playlist on Spotify. This is a prime example of what I mean when I say the music I am listening to depends on my mood. Then, Kygo dropped this remix last Friday and it has been on repeat daily in my apartment

2. Loose Lucy – Grateful Dead

I grew up a fan of classic rock and more so grew into liking jam bands when I was a teenager thru my early twenties. If you have been to my apartment or “you knew me when” you would know that I am a bit of a Dead Head. This week I was revisiting my roots and this song had me up and dancing along as if I was at a Dead concert all over again.

3. A No No – Mariah Carey

The only person that can get away with using “irregardless” (because that is not a word) in a song and make it a bop is Ms. Mariah. I have been on a “I have a watch, but I do not have the time” kick lately with a lot of things – so this song has felt like my theme song for the past two weeks.

4. I Am Woman – Helen Reddy

This song has two meanings for me. I played it on repeat Friday after I heard the news of RBG’s passing while on the phone with a good friend. The other meaning this song has me for me was a few years ago, during my first year of coaching – the head coach had the athletes make up a dance to this song at the end of the season as a traditional team bonding activity. Lately, I have been missing that community a lot and how that place & those people really felt like a second home.

5. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight – The Postal Service

Truthfully, I have been listening to this whole album on repeat as I go for walks. This is a throwback to younger times for me, but has always been a favorite. Listening to it now has a different meaning to me than what it meant to me years ago. I love how music can grow with us, and teach us different things as we get older – even though it is the same old song.

See, I told you my taste was random. If you aren’t a fan of the music I shared this week, that’s okay- maybe the next time I share a few songs you will enjoy a couple of them.

Now, I challenge you- is there any song this week that has been giving you that glitter of happiness? Share it with me in the comments, there is nothing I enjoy more than discovering new music. Especially music that gives others a sense of joy.

Remember to keep in mind – sometimes we just need a reset, and sometimes we just need to dance it out. *See what I did there? Begin with a TV reference and end with a TV reference. Thank you Yang, Grey, and Shonda Rhimes*

Create Your Own Beginnings

“Create your own Beginnings” by Tray Taylor
IG @allusiontoreality

Well, after the big debate (with myself) I decided to create a blog again. I grew up in the blogging generation, or what I just declared as such. Where we all wrote about our days on Live Journal or Xanga. Then as the years went by that switched over to Tumblr. As an adult I had a WordPress for my writings, but then one day I decided to leave that all behind for a bit. Now here I am, again.

This time my blog will be different. It will contain my thoughts yes, and my writings occasionally. But, it will also contain more insight of what could be helpful to you, my audience. I will share what I may be listening to this week, or a recipe I discovered that turned out better than expected.

Writing is my first passion in life, but I would like to note this past May I received my master’s in library science. So, book suggestions may appear on this blog a few times as well. This is a blog about how my multifaceted personality functions and exists in this world.

I’ve never quite fit in a box, and I am learning that my blog doesn’t need to either.

I recognize that this is more about proving to myself I can keep up with what I set my mind to, and just hope that there are people out there that want to read my writing. That is what I have been holding on to my whole life as an aspiring writer. Wanting to make an impact on others with my words.

So, this is where it begins.