15 Years, Waiting Still

I was in discussions for one of my stories to appear in print in a literary journal but they fell through. I won’t say which one, in case something I leave here is construed as negative. I’m grateful for the careful look and am encouraged by the positive feedback. Glad the story was liked.

I saw it coming a mile away. He liked the story but didn’t love it. He thought it needed something. He had trouble saying just what that something was. When I offered exclusive consideration, he agreed to take more time with it. I was more nervous than excited because he talked vaguely about making the story “better” but the word I heard was “different.” The story captured his imagination but it, for him, fell short of being just right. My suspicion was he would return to it with his vague idea of what it should be and want either to change it into that or pass. I half hoped for, I’m half relieved I got, the second.

I don’t think I’m a great writer, some days I don’t even think I’m a good one, but I like the balance I’ve struck between being willing to listen to feedback and implement it to get better but always falling back on my vision and ignoring feedback that doesn’t speak to me. Tough to be told a story will probably be a fit for an upcoming issue and have that turn into a pass, but I’m more encouraged than discouraged. This is a business of disappointment. They’re professionals who are used to that and assume you are too. Fortunately, I am. And he was kind enough to send a line edit, which I haven’t looked at yet but which is worth gold because it will do what, in my opinion, is the only value of feedback, it will help me see my story from a fresh perspective.

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