Tuesday, May 4, 2010

3 PFOs and a maybe*

*the maybe being a slightly nicer version of a PFO - ie you were nearly there, but other people were more there than you (if only those 5 or ten feckeens had been out wastin time, cleaning windows or shooting pool or doing anything else, instead of intentionally contributing to your dissappointment by writing something better than the thing that you submitted) - actually the maybe came in separately anyway - a few days earlier - so let's not worry about that, let me instead just tell you about the 3 PFOs

When all the pfos come in on one day it's kind of funny.

First one comes in, you say - "ah well", sigh aloud, look sorrowfully at the little pen clasped in your tough little hand and slow down with the writing a little, maybe go for a break, have a cup of tea, feel it, at your leisure, like the mean little punch in the gut that it is.

Second one in - feels like they're ganging up on you, they've compared notes, the editors of all the magazines are taking about you over their G&T's laughing into their hands, the bullies, determined to knock you off that writing path. You almost agree, well two heads are better than one, maybe they've got something.

When the third PFO in one day drops into your inbox it just makes you laugh, you actually realise - they are seriously trying to stop you, because:

a) you're so brilliant that you are a massive threat to the entire literary universe and you must be stopped

b) they're all remarkably rejectiony of a Monday


c) what you've been writing up to now wasn't good enough - you have to write more to get something that is good enough.

Whichever it is, the third rejection of a day can kind of balance out the second gut punch, like by the time the third one comes, you've gotten up off the floor, spat out your teeth and you're ready to go, the fight just got serious, it's time to write.

You turn your email off, for at least 10 minutes, and write the best itty bitty bit of a story you've ever written..... that day so far.

Rejection - better than coffee for lighting a fire under you, and only twice as bitter.


Totalfeckineejit said...

Yeah, but what about the maybe?

Niamh B said...

As I said at the top - the maybe was just a pfo in disguise, tellin me I was tantalisingly close - but between 10 & 20 others were better, (top 10 got accepted out of the 21 shortlistees) so they got the goods instead, twas nice to hear i'd gotten on the shortlist alright tho.

Words A Day said...

As my gran always said, "They're only jealous." I find this covers a multitude, (not that its my mantra or anything! Well...)

Niamh B said...

Thanks Words, love that theory! Yes that's it. There was definite jealousness in those PFOs...

Emerging Writer said...

spill - who?

Peter Goulding said...

Well I love your stuff anyway.

Niamh B said...

There'll be no spilling EW! Yerrah they're only jealous anyway!!
Peter - thank you so much, you know the poetry bus comments actually were a lovely little boost too, to way outweigh the three little notes.

I suppose I'm just tryin to highlight the positive side of lots of failure - which is, that you realise you are 3 failures closer to a win. But yeah - the reality of it all just made me giggle a bit.

dublindave said...

Well, I think you're great for trying, and of course it happens to everyone - it's just part of the process.

Ross said...

As Michael Eager wrote: rejection - it's one of my themes.

If you met editors, you might not seek their approval.

Titus said...

I shall be Mummy and say "Their loss".
And I love the coffee line.

Karen said...

The VERY reason I don't send anything out. I have no faith in my writing as it is; to have someone confirm my worst fears, I don't think I could stand.

Karen said...

By the way - I love your work -- and what does "PFO" stand for?

Niamh B said...

Arrah thanks lads.
Dave - I think you still gave me the best laugh EVER when you asked me once "what's a PFO?" But yeah - I think I'm great to send em too (and so does my mam, and my dog)
Thanks Ross - So true!
Thank you Titus, coffee is still more pleasant, but rejection more likely to make me want to write better.
Karen, you should send stuff out - your followers all have faith in what you're doing, send it out on behalf of them if nothing else! if the editors get it wrong, it'll give you the kick to keep going! A PFO is a Please F.... Off! and thanks for the compliment!

the watercats said...

I haven't sent anything off for years... thinking of doing so again.. but not so sure now. With a bit more age comes a bit more insecurity I think.. but also.. a bit more fight :-D
Keep cracking on missis!

Niamh B said...

Thanks Watercats - you're out there with that music comp at the moment anyway! so that's sticking your neck out in my book!
We're all just brill.