Wednesday, 11 March 2009

March

According to Thalassa Cruso, 'March is a month of considerable frustration.' I'll say it is. The sun's out and it's warm behind glass but try sitting out in it for any length of time without getting whipped by the wind or freezing your feet off. March also seems to be a terrible month for receiving rejections, especially from writing contests entered in the blithe optimism of the autumn. One after another they've been blowing in. I feel battered. My writing has slowed to a crawl. I am surrounded by beautiful notebooks bought in the spirit of the new year's resolution that I would fill them. Each is empty, pristine, reproachful. I am still coming upright from the latest novel rejection, lacking the energy or optimism to begin all over again. What began as a mild reluctance has developed into a stubborn avoidance. I need to spring-clean my mental condition, shake myself down and get started. So I am drawing this line in the sand by way of a reminder: it's Spring! The perfect time for fresh starts.

12 comments:

Frances said...

I'm finding it hard to write as well, Sarah. And hard to know whether I should attempt to be more self-disciplined, or whether it would be best to take a break.

Sarah Hilary said...

I'm sorry to hear that, Frances. I'm always terrified of taking a break of any length. I can imagine myself never getting back to it, or losing my momentum. It's just a lack of self-confidence generally, in my case. I'll get over it. I do hope it gets warm enough soon to be out getting some sunshine. That would help!

Nik's Blog said...

Glad it's not just me!

Stick at it, Sarah. Dust away those cobwebs and get back on that horse; it's a good one, it's had a lot of good training.

Nik

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Nik! Giddyup!

Gay Degani said...

Sarah!

You are so, you know, normal! I think it is so difficult to reconcile our hopes at the beginning of the year with the reality and the only way around it is to admit you feel banged up.

March is tough because I you said, it's when we reap what we did at the end of the year. One solution. When I was sending off stuff back then for some reason I limited myself to one or two venues. Now I'm remembering that I'd decided not to do that if places allowed simuls (and even if they didn't) so now that it's spring, I'm going to research markets, take a hard look at what has been unpublished and why, work on it, and then send everything out to 5 places each. No. 10. Maybe 15.

LOL. I can't take the rejection!

Sarah Hilary said...

We have to keep putting ourselves out there, Gay, you're absolutely right. Good luck with your subs, and know that I've got your back just like you've got mine.

Douglas Bruton said...

Sorry to hear all of this, SH and the rest here.

It has been a long and cold winter... and we all need some sun to lift the spirits.

One or two acceptances would help... but the joy of those are so short lived, I find... yep, definitely needing the sun.

As for comp knockbacks... it's just a game really... I have a story that was just off the prizes in City of Derby comp 2 years back. Same story in top 50 of Bridport last year. And it completely and utterly bombed in two or three 'lesser' comps... see... it's all a lottery when it comes to comps...

Still, any rejection is hard... so I feel for you, SH.. and all the rest... had a few myself recently...

Group hug.

D

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Douglas, for the hugs and the therapeutic good sense you always speak.

Anne Brooke said...

Hugs and love. Lordy, we've all been there. Hang on in there till the slow storm passes, Sarah.

Axxxxxxxxxxxx

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Anne! xx

Tania Hershman said...

Oh yes, been there, am still there, I understand what you're feeling. Nice thing to return home to Israel last night and wake up to warm sun this morning, that made a big difference. Re: taking a break, Frances, if you have that gut feeling, it's probably the right thing. I don't believe in writers' block, but writers' breaks can definitely be helpful (or at least that's my excuse!). Roll on Springtime!

PS Many comp rejections for me too.,..Hearing how you "just missed" something is damn annoying, Douglas. Better not to know?

Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Tania, it helps to know others feel in the same boat as me. Land ahoy?