I've been thinking a lot about writers' groups in the past couple of days, and I was just reminded of one of the best reasons to be in one...
...for the company of people who UNDERSTAND.
My friend and fellow writer Rachel was over for lunch today and, as writers often do, we got to talkin' shop. She told me about some positive rejections she got from magazine editors and how two stories came back with editor comments. I stopped her and said, "Wait. Are you saying they want to see the stories again? Like, an informal request for revisions?" "Oh, yeah," she muttered. "I should really get to those some time."
Some time, grrl! How about today!
Thing is, the other people in Rachel's life just don't really get it. There's no one who says, "Uh, yeah. You should do that. I would've! Yesterday!" Because to them, one rejection is just like another.
We all know the truth. If you get the yellow rejection from Realms of Fantasy you're moving up the ladder, that much closer to the written "I liked this, but I just bought a telepathic rabbit story. Feel free to send more when you have something new."
And We all know that when you get that last one, you send something off the next day, if you can.
Even when your spouse/lover/partner/pool boy/S.O. is extremely supportive, there's nothing quite like having another writer in your life who understands that you ARE a genius, who is, in point of fact, just waiting for some editor somewhere to recognize you for what you are. Someone with whom you can (as I like to call it) cast the rejection slips (there should be a word for this thing we all do where we ponder the meaning of cryptic wordings ala "didn't quite grab me" vs. "didn't quite work for me, alas" -- rejectomancy?)
My writers group fills this need for me. Rachel and I will just have to do lunch more often, because writers need this stuff.
Maybe even more than caffeine.
But don't quote me.