I think I’m beginning to sink a little – all I seem to have had recently is screens of rejection emails. Refusals, thanks but (it’s not what we’re looking for/others were better/it won’t suit/. . .)

It makes me smile though when the competitions say something along the lines of ‘thank you for your submission but your piece wasn’t selected. We’d love to hear from you again,’ and you think well of course they do! That’s how they make up the prize money isn’t it, through people entering? So of course they want you to enter again no matter how bad you are!

So I’ve pretty much stopped sending things out. I’m still  writing – barely – but I’m taking a break from submitting, or showing anything to anyone. This is probably a step backwards, but the enthusiasm for it just isn’t there right now, and I don’t want to risk turning writing into a depressing job. Part of the reason I do it is because I enjoy it, and if I’m not, then where’s the sense?

I’m wondering actually about using the time away from submitting to write another novel. I haven’t done that for a while, and writing a longer piece is very different to doing short stories. (And not just the technique but the whole rhythms of writing.)

Then in the middle of writing this post I get another email notifying me that the competition longlist is on the website but not author names. I go and have a look, scanning down the lists of titles to see if I recognise one. . . And yes I do! Sort of. It’s my title but not, so is it a typo? Or what if someone else happened to do a similar title to mine and that’s actually their entry? It’s improbable but not impossible. Oh well, either way I won’t find out anything else for a while, so I guess I’ll set it aside and wait. . .

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