I Was My Own Biggest Obstacle (The August Theme from Jody Feldman)

I didn’t get it. I was writing exciting stories. I was using colorful language. I was creating brilliant segues. And who appreciated it? Not any editor, not any agent; that’s for sure And why was everyone else landing that first contract? Why was I still stuck on Rejection Island?

It got so routine for bad news to land in my mailbox, I’d simply go numb. I’d ease open the envelopes, scan the rejections and jam them into my file drawer. Then I’d ship the manuscript back out with the next available Pony Express. Wash, rinse, repeat.

My stubbornness ( I WAS going to get a contract someday) worked for me. I didn’t give up. I knew it would happen. That lovely characteristic, though, also worked against me. I was so certain every word was a jewel, and maybe each was. I simply could not see past those gems to some bigger pictures. Let’s call them scenes.

I fell into the dangerous trap that the story as I first captured it was the whole truth. All I had to do was pretty it up some more. When (with the help of workshops and wonderful critique partners) the thunderbolt struck and I realized I was making stuff up – not recording history – I was free to kill a once-important secondary character. I had permission to excise various events. I soared with the joy of making up more stuff.

Only then, did I get the rush of receiving The Call.


  1. I lived on Rejection Island for 7 1/2 years...Funny, there are so many writers who spend so long there, yet it always feels like you're the lone inhabitant...


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