I was reflecting on how rarely I see writers talk about the frustration of “near misses” when sending out stories. What I mean by this is the stories that get close but don’t quite make it – they reach second rounds at multiple venues or they receive really beautiful personalized rejections over and over again – but you just can’t seem to sell it. On the one hand, those stories make you happy because they are getting so far at various publications. On the other, you just start wondering after a while if maybe you shouldn’t pull back and rewrite. What about it is keeping it from making it past a second round?
Obviously, I have one of these stories out wandering the world right now.
It has received some really lovely personalized rejections, and made it to second round several times, but there’s something about it that isn’t quite landing. (It’s flash which might not be helping its chances, but I LIKE flash.) I have faith that it will someday find its right home, but I do wonder where that will be.