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Happy to be Sad

Writers Museum

Writers Museum (Photo credit: estorde)

For the past few weeks I’ve been part of a group that started out calling itself SAD (Submission A Day.) The name has since changed to J2BL. Strange, isn’t it?

The point was for each member to submit a piece of work each day, to always strive toward publication in whatever venue desired. We have member writers of all sorts, and we’ve had great success in our latest endeavor. We recognize that some cannot manage that kind of time table and it’s okay that they only submit once a week, a month, or whenever they can.

We cheer each other on, congratulating the member for each submission, and cheering but supporting when a rejection comes in, because it means that the writer sent something out, took a chance, and is willing to do so again. (We’ve decided to use rejection slips as wallpaper in our office areas to stimulate new growth in our craft.)

We share resources, new venues and their needs, successes (that’s when we celebrate), and all other aspects of this industry we love and can’t live without. Along the way, we help each other. Ours isn’t a competition. It’s more a team effort where each team player is given whatever is needed to succeed. When a member gets an acceptance notification from a publication, it validates all of the members.

In the past week or so, our efforts have steadily come climbed into the higher acceptance zone, which gives everyone a boost in morale. Sure there are still rejections. Those will never go away, and I’ve received my fair share since we started the group. That hasn’t and won’t change.

What has changed is an attitude toward the entire submission process. Whether we’re talking poetry or prose, letting go of a finished piece is never easy for many writers. Each piece is a child. The writer knows, that for that child to be appreciated fully, it must be allowed to roam the outside world. The submission segment of the writing process, for the writer, amounts to putting her small, innocent baby onto the school bus for the first time.

Once the writer has made a habit of seeing a baby onto the school bus often enough, the need to hold onto a piece is broken. And this habit is what J2BL is all about. This is a mechanism to create a submissions habit.

If the past few weeks indicate nothing else, it shows us that we can work as a team to see to the success of each member; to support each other with resources, confidence, and camaraderie. In a world where the term “It’s every man for himself” rings through the streets, our method seems so much better.

I hope for a time when everyone can call such a group their own, to experience the unique closeness of our group, most of whom have never met face to face. I hope that everyone can have someone in their corner, cheering them on, and patting their shoulders when success isn’t instantaneous. Most of all, I hope that everyone learns that life doesn’t have to be a competition, with winners and losers.

This last week, I’ve submitted poetry, essays, and short stories. Today more poetry will go out. I’ve had a short story accepted, and not heart yet on the others. Editor response times vary greatly. Tomorrow I’ll send out something else. Online submissions allow for any day, any time. And for the first time, I’m enjoying the process and the pace. That’s saying something for a writer.

Have a great weekend, all. Relax, if you can. Laugh and enjoy the people you’re with. A bientot,

Claudsy

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  1. Christine Sanfilippo
    May 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    enjoyed your blog Claudette- it is great to have someone behind you, steering you in the right direction and suporting you. SAD sounds terrific! keep up the good work. I know you will. Tina.

    • claudsy
      May 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks, Tina, for your good wishes. That means a lot to me. It’s been maddening, busy, great fun, and habit-forming, all at the same time.

  2. Veronica Roth
    May 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    You know Claudsy, I love The Nervous Breakdown; a writers web site. I had it on my favorites bar and my partner Robert changed the name to “The Happy Smiley Place for Writers”. Since I already have an “artistic temperament”, there’s something to be said for a staring at a positive name on my favorites bar. (Sometimes he knows me too well.) I’m so glad I know you and a handful of other artistic creative types. It’s so nice to be in the company of like-minded people.

    • claudsy
      May 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      That’s so kind. Thank you, Veronica. So much of the world can only appear dark and unfriendly sometimes. I try hard to always look at the blessings that arise from whatever the situation is.

      For me in the last many years, I’ve come to see far more positive things to offset those that bring a person down.

      I’m glad you can find positive here. Though, I’ll admit there are days when finding something on the positive side is a bit difficult.

      Hope to see you around often. We need each other in this world, don’t we?

  3. May 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Congrats on the short story publication!

    • claudsy
      May 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks, Sara. I’m going to post it’s release date in June as soon as I know what it is. iPhone users, beware.

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