I’ve started a bookmarking file on my browser called “Happy.” It’s filled with little tidbits like baby animals, music that gets me going and other things that put a smile on my face. You might think it’s for me, and sometimes it is, but mostly it is for others.
You see, writers face a few unusual challenges that a lot of other jobs don’t have to face day to day.
When a writer puts a story on a page, they don’t know what will happen to it. They can spend hours and hours trying to make it the best it can possibly be, but once they hit that send button, it really is a roll of the dice. A slush reader might have a headache or an editor might be having a stressful day. A writer has one chance (most generally) to make an impression and have a story accepted. And with some of the slush piles I’ve seen, sometimes the odds aren’t in a writer’s favor.
This uncertainty can pile up quickly. People claim to refresh their inbox often or check the electronic queues often. It can be a distraction to a writer’s creative life. Caught up in a loop of “Did I get a response yet?”, a writer may not be able to focus on the next story.
Then comes the part everyone hates. Rejection.
The frank reality is, the higher the market, the more stringent the guidelines are for a story. Even with several slush readers, piles of stories are gone through on a regular basis. Unless your story hooks someone fast, you are going to get that rejection.
It hurts. It hurts even more when you write something that you love. Something that your beta readers love. Something you feel has a shot at the markets you target. Some say that after a while that little sharp pain doesn’t hurt as bad. But that doesn’t console a writer who has worked hard and sent out several stories in a month, only to have them all rejected.
So first the uncertainty: is your story good enough? was it received? did I make any stupid typos or grammar errors? did I send it to the right address?
Then the rejection: they didn’t like it. where do I send it now? am I a hack?
This can all lead to a writer feeling down. It is no wonder writers, especially in this day and age, experience some bouts of depression. It is a hard market to break into, even if you develop your craft as well as you are able. Compound that with daily life, and there are days we all feel like we just can’t handle it all.
That is why I have a “Happy” file.
If I can make 1 person smile for just a few minutes, maybe I can help them shrug off their blues for a bit. Maybe I can make their day just a bit better. Maybe, they can go on until they get some good news.
So here are some things in my “Happy” files:
Baby sloth yawning awww so cute!
Okay Go This too Shall Pass yea I had to listen to it 😀
Zoo Borns can’t go wrong with baby animals. Pick your cute poison
And sometimes its a good idea to read someone else’s words on life Dali Lama
I hope everyone’s day is great. Have a good holiday weekend. And remember, it takes just a moment to give a hug, smile, or cheer someone up for just a moment. 😀