On doors and opportunities

I feel that I’ve had a lot of doors slammed in my face recently.

[Insert cliche here about one door closing and another opening, or “just keep going”…]

But it hurts. It frickin’ sucks.

I’m suffering from writer’s block at the moment, which isn’t helping. I’m not feeling delightful enough to write GreenSky and I’m struggling to get into the world again. I’m pondering No Man’s Sky and No Man’s Dawn, which isn’t helping me actually write. I’ve got a stack of short stories, but can’t make progress with any of them.

I’ve just had two short stories rejected; shorts that I was honestly confident about. I liked them and I thought they were good stories. And while I know from the editing side that it isn’t often possible to write more than a standard rejection letter to authors, from the author side it really sucks to not know why you’ve been rejected. I don’t know if my story didn’t fit, wasn’t quite right – or, as my fears are telling me, was simply crap. And that feeds back into the rest of my fears, particularly about Not Being A Proper Writer.

I’m struggling with home life too. I’ve got a whole load of doubts and fears circling. I’m on my own a lot at the moment and while in some ways I quite like it, it does give me far too much time to listen to my own thoughts and worry about what I’m doing or feeling.

I still don’t know what I’m doing with jobs. I’m three months into my six-month break and I feel that I haven’t done anything. I’m worrying that six months off will completely screw any future jobs I try to get. I’m worrying that I’ve done the wrong thing. I’m wondering if I could have coped with the anxiety to stay just a bit longer in my last job (and that’s when the rational voice pipes up with “hell no!” so at least there’s some sanity there). I’m wondering which direction I want to go in. I feel like so many doors have slammed on the job front that I’m facing a wall of missed opportunities there, too. I know most of them have been out of my control, but I’m still very much blaming myself for all the failures.

I’m walking on quicksand in every area of my life, and still feeling completely lost. I’m still walking, but it’s tough when I’m not sure where I’m going.

But hey. I keep writing, keep submitting, keep walking. I just have to make the decisions as they come up, and do what’s right for me. I’ve got some wonderful people supporting me, and I’m grateful for them every day. I just need to keep going.

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at writingandcoe.co.uk. When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.

6 thoughts on “On doors and opportunities”

  1. I’m liking in support sweetie. Oh honey, I know things are really tough at the moment and I so wish they weren’t. I’d love a magic wand to sort all our problems and worries. What I can say, is that, I came across something I had quite forgotten. While trying to go through my stuff trying to get rid of crap, I came across a bunch of rejection letters. Embarrassingly I had completely forgotten about them, in fact if I’m being honest, I seem to have a complete mental blank over them. But there they were, my handwriting on the return envelopes, so there was no escaping it. I’d sent off to Conville & Walsh, Julia Churchill, Celia Catchpole, JABerwocky Literary Agency, Curtis Brown, Greene & Heaton, Ed Victor and Sheil Land Associates who are supposed to be good at contacting people but didn’t even bother sending a rejection letter or even acknowledging that they received my inquiry (despite the SAE). Lol, maybe I blocked all that from my memory but I’m now wondering who the hell else I tried!

    So, this is my long winded way of saying, all that crap we hear about JK Rowling having 28 rejection letters, is probably very very true. It’s tough and it’s horrible, and yes, soul destroying and confidence shaking, but it’s unfortunately all part of this crazy game we’ve thrown ourselves into, the life of a writer. And yes you ARE a proper writer and a damn good one! For every agent out there, there are probably thousands of writers trying to get their attention, it’s insane. So sweetie, try not to feel too awful about the rejection thing, I know that’s an almost impossible ask as who wants to be rejected but you are in VERY good company. It will happen for you, I’ve never had any doubts, but it is a bloody long slog. A marathon not a sprint. You may get JK Rowling’s 28 rejection letters too, but you’ll get one that says YES PLEASE, and all that hard work and heartache will have been worth it. 😉 <3 xxxx

    1. Thank you! It’s always reassuring to hear that other people have been rejected too (even though I theoretically know it) before writing excellent stuff like White Mountain 😉 x x

      1. Lol, no you are definitely NOT alone matey. I doubt there’s a writer out there, no matter how successful or not, who hasn’t been rejected multiple times. 😉 xxx

  2. As a 54 year old avid sci fi and fantasy reader (and sub editor/proof reader), I was intrigued when my daughter handed me Green Sky and Sparks and said “Mum, you’ll like this”. I haven’t read anything designated as “steampunk” before – but it’s fantasy with a scifi twist, and I loved it. Characters I cared about, a story I wanted to read, an ending I wanted to discover… and now I want more.

    Rejection is hard – but when something does get accepted and is liked by people I hope that makes it all worthwhile. Its all part of learning your craft and you’ve demonstrated you can do it with this book, so I’m off to download the rest of the series onto my Kindle.. I need to know what happens next!!!

    I’m also a manager and employer – and no, taking a 6 month break isn’t going to screw up future job opportunities, not if you explain “but look, I wrote and published a book” – all employers really want to know is that you had a good reason for taking time out. And sometimes not having a job is better than a job that messes with your head. It gives you chance to figure out who you are and what you want. And when you’re ready, the right job will come along… just trust in yourself. You can do this!

    1. Thank you, I’m so glad you liked it! The first four GreenSky books are out and the next one (Empty Skies & Sunlight) is due sometime this spring. They aren’t traditional ‘steampunk’ and there are a lot of variations in the genre, but definitely keep trying things if you like it.

      It’s good to have an opinion from the other side as well re. the jobs etc – it’s sometimes hard to know what the best decision is long-term. I’m just making the most of the time to write 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment, it’s lovely to hear opinions!

Comments are closed.