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?

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