Try (Just a little bit harder)

This is the epitome of Wisconsin autumn–the huge old maple trees out front are acting like chameleons shuffling color while we sleep, temperatures flit near freezing, and left over campfire scents follow the lowering sun.

I left my children to their pj’s and art projects in order to clean out and tuck away untouched corners piling with gardening books and histories of waning wildlife.

A blue glass bottle in the kitchen window reminds me of the dust.

The dust reminds me of writing.

Yesterday I received a rejection.  Cross that one off the list, only 982 more to go until my work starts to pay off.  I only wish I had a running tally or a score card or maybe notches in a bed post, but the only thing that’s really going to help is working harder, writing more.

And revising.

And revising.

And revising.

Overall, the rejection isn’t a big thing, the story is still there, the rights are still mine, the words haven’t suddenly started rearranging themselves behind my back and jumping out from blind corners in the dark just to get a rise out of me.

A rejection is simply this: an invitation to start fresh.

It’s a suggestion to look at your work like a stranger might see it, to read it thoroughly and critically as you would the work of a colleague or an excited poet-in-waiting, to brush it up, scrub it down, dust it off and, most importantly, to resubmit.

Cuz you gotta try, baby, just a little bit harder.


About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
This entry was posted in memoir writing, Self-Reliance, truth and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Try (Just a little bit harder)

  1. Ann's Rants says:

    Dammit. So true. Great post.

  2. Dust reminds us of writing too, then we ignore both and watch a Lifetime movie! Good luck with the revisions!

  3. “A rejection is simply this: an invitation to start fresh.”
    Love that.
    Luckily, rejections only sting for a minute.

    For me, the worst part is the waiting. Give me the “no” so I can move on 🙂
    Hang in there.

  4. pennyjars says:


    I love it–Rejections only sting for a minute. Suddenly they’re comparable with a visit to the doc 🙂

  5. Pamela says:

    Right there with you in the querying stage, waiting on the rejections. I hope getting another comment helps, because I like nothing more than to help another wounded soul in the query wars. What do you write?

    • pennyjars says:

      Hi, Pamela.

      Another comment always helps. This rejection was a piece of flash fiction which is quite a change for me. I’ve been focused mainly on memoir and personal essay.

      What are you working on?

  6. I have been a rejection queen in my time, honey! Oh lord if I kept track, especially with short stories over the years. But you’re right, come to your work fresh and always come back to it and it will work out. I believe that. Love you!

  7. For a certainty I understand where you are coming from…
    just keep starting ‘afresh’ and with the spirit of ‘renewal’… and love the Janis Joplin song!! Hang in there…I am, too! *smiles*

    • pennyjars says:

      Thanks for stopping, Cheryl.

      I read on Meg Waite Clayton’s blog that if you’re not getting rejections, your not being creative enough. I like the way that sounds.

      So glad you like the Joplin, she always cheers me up 🙂

  8. Beth Lowe says:

    This is a wonderful post, and I love it. The bit about leftover campfire scents hit me hard; I’ve never known anyone who knew what that combination of smells was, never mind put them into such evocative words. I always feel this time of year acutely, don’t you?

    And this: “Rejection is an invitation to start fresh.” Yes. What an awesome way to frame it. Instead of being a negation of us and our writing, we give ourselves opportunity. Here’s to us taking our own advice. And I love that it will only sting for a minute! Kudos to Christi.

    Hang in there. The sisterhood of ink, as you so aptly named it, is alive and well.

    • pennyjars says:

      Thank you so much, Beth. I love campfires and this time of year. It seems I’ve blogged more autumn than any other season.

      I’m going to take my own advice and read with new eyes, convince myself that rewrites are fun and kick the work back out the door. I hope you do too!

      Cheers to the sisterhood!

  9. Silvina says:

    Amen to all that sister!

  10. Prerna says:

    Lovely post! And I love the line” ‘cuz you gotta try a little bit harder”. With everything on my plate right now, sometimes I just wish I could try a little bit “easier”:-)

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