Conversation with Story: When to Keep Going, When to Quit

Story: Hello again.

Me: Oh, you’re back. That was quick. I submitted you to the magazine only two weeks ago. How are you doing?

Story: Boy, it’s brutal out there.

Me: I’m sorry. I keep sending you out and you keep getting rejected. You look kind of beat up.

Story: Yeah, that last editor was pretty critical, but he had some good points to make. I have to admit that. So. How are we standing so far? How many rejections does this make? Around twenty, I’ll bet.

Me: A little more than that. More like around thirty.

Story: Oh. I didn’t know it was that many.

Me: That’s okay, I still believe in you.

Story: I’m trying my best.

Me: I know you are. I put everything into you I could. The way I do with every story I write. If I didn’t believe in you I would not have sent you out to be considered for publication in the first place.

Story: I know that. But….

Me: What’s wrong?

Story: Been thinking.

Me: About what?

Story: Maybe it’s time to put me aside. Now before you get that look on your face hear me out. It’s not like we haven’t tried. Maybe the time just isn’t right for a story like me. There doesn’t appear to be a market interested in me right now. Maybe you need to put me aside and wait until an appropriate market opens up and then submit me there.

Me: I’m not ready to give up.

Story: I’m not ready to give up, either. But if we don’t maximize our potential, yours and mine, then we lose ground. That doesn’t help either one of us in the long run. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. I’m more than willing to go back out if you find a proper market. But in the meantime I think maybe I need to be trunked while you work on a new story.

Me: I don’t know how to break this to you, but I’ve written two new stories since I sent you out.

Story: I’m glad to hear that.

Me: Story.

Story: Yeah.

Me: I’m going to trunk you for a while. I think it’s time.

Story: No argument from me. I could use a vacation.

Me: If something opens up you’ll be the first to be sent out, right back into the thick of things.

Story: I’m always ready and willing to head into the front lines for you. But a little R&R sounds good right now.

Me: Sorry about how this turned out.

Story: What sorry? It’s the right thing to do. Sometimes you have to send a story down to the minors. Hey, I knew that much going in when you sent me out on my very first submission.

Me: All right. Well, you fought the good fight. I appreciate it.

Story: I could have been a champion. I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody.

Me: You got that from a story.

Story: Well, sure. It’s who I am. Nighty-night.

Me: Walk bravely, Old Soldier.

Story: Trust me, I’m going to enjoy the down time. Meanwhile….

Me: What?

Story: Get started on a new story.

Sometimes you have to wait for the right market before you can sell the story you have written. Have patience, and get to work on a new story in the interim.

2 Replies to “Conversation with Story: When to Keep Going, When to Quit”

  1. Writing and submitted short stories full time is indeed a constant juggling act. Sometimes, it is very good to put one of the balls away, in order to balance the other balls effectively. Yes, I agree. Still loving your personifications of “Story”!

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