Bringing the words back
I got another rejection this morning. Rejections are fine, truly; whenever you send a piece of writing to a publication, a rejection is the expected outcome, and that’s the math of it. I once heard thirdhand of a writer who said she aims to receive a hundred rejections per year, which helped me grasp how this all works. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some pieces accepted for publication, but there will not be some magical “made it” point where my quill develops a Midas touch; each time I see a message from a journal, I say the word “rejected” before I open it, bracing and grounding myself. Rejections are the norm and the price.
That being said, they suck.
As planned, I still sat down to write this morning. I’m a teacher on his last summer day before reporting for work tomorrow; my daughters are with grandparents and my wife is at work, so I need to make some literary hay while the sun shines. The rejection was a cloud, though. It was kindly phrased: “This one didn’t quite feel like a match for us, so we’re going to pass this time, but we enjoyed the read. The ______ made me smile.” It was a nice thing to say and a wholly expected outcome, and yet…
I contemplated killing an hour or so with Netflix.
Instead, I read a few pieces on Prose. @Huckleberry_Hoo made me laugh. @InLoveWithWords made me sad. @AlisonAudrey shared her writer’s dream. And by the time I had read their pieces, language felt vibrant again. I pulled up this lovely challenge by @TheWolfeDen, and I wrote.
I joined Prose in October 2019 because I wanted to write again and needed some help getting unstuck. I have kept using Prose through this morning because I wanted to write again and needed some help getting unstuck.
My thanks, everybody.
Dear Proser’s, (An Admission)
First, I want you to know that I love you. I always have, even though I have been unfaithful. Yes, I have cheated on you. I am not proud of it, but I have dabbled with another writing site.
At first it was only a lark, silly flirtations, but I must admit that those flirtations felt good. It made ME feel good, like a beginning writer with a gift. I found complete strangers who were interested in what I had to say. They offered interesting suggestions, and gave interesting analysis. Admittedly, there was the usual fluff, but there was also some sound, helpful advice. I became enamored, and found myself giving them the one thing that I should have reserved for you alone... my heartfelt words.
But then, this relationship is not all about me, is it? We are in this writing thing together. When stripped down to it’s nakedness, I began to see my affair for what it really was; a need to venture away. I needed validation that I am an average, if avid, writer who has no business feeling under-appreciated, and who should want no more from a site than seven likes and a repost. But my affair also made me realize what drew me to you in the first place. That “other site” was difficult to navigate, had uninspiring challenges, and was littered with writing of the poorest sort which I was forced to read and comment on in order to share my voice. Sure, the reactions to my stories fed my vanities, but the site offered little fuel to fire my passions. With all of this, the things that made it seem to be my ideal quickly faded.
Oddly, the thing I missed the most about you during my dalliance turned out to be the very thing that pushed me away from you, Proser. I missed your maddening youthfulness; I missed the anxieties, the rebelliousness, and the ignorance in you that drives me insane when you will not listen to one who has experienced and survived similarly unfledged struggles, and was born through them a different, hopefully wiser person... but who is to say who is right, and who wrong? I know we drive each other crazy, but that is because we need each other to be stronger. You are my yin.
I have learned a lesson. I understand now that my scribblings are nothing without you.
In the immortal words of Forrest Gump, “stupid is as stupid does,” which is why I have written this stupid letter. I have followed your rules, and have paid my dues, so you have no choice but to take me back, or at least to scroll right past my drivel (as the smart ones do), but still I felt the need to explain, to come clean, to wash away the dirt, and to share my guilty feelings.
Admittedly, I have not been the best Proser. I cannot find it in me to hit “like” if I don’t like. I also sometimes disagree when silence would be golden. Even though I might not befriend you for “likes,” know that when you do write something special Old Huck will be there with an encouraging comment. Several thoughtful, well written posts might even win you a follower. And know that in the future, for good or bad, I will step up to your challenges while saving my first and best words for you, and only you.
A Letter From A Loving (if unfaithful) Proser,
Prose is Home
Prose is home to joy and pain,
To beauty, friends, and demons slain.
When lazy, Prose is strength of will.
When grouchy, Prose will listen still.
A place to tarry not in vain,
To stroke your pride and grow your brain.
When downtrod, bored, besot or sick,
When logic’s got a bone to pick,
When thoughts are halfish-thinkifide,
When romance needs a place to hide,
Prose is home for one and all!
For all us saps who hear the call.
We’ve found the perfect place to chill.
We’re cats, and Prose: our windowsill.
What I love about Prose
I came here on the recommendation of a member of a discord community I am a part of. I found a site filled with challenges which inspired me enough to bust a massively bad case of writer’s block. I had finished two novels just before Christmas and instead of being filled with new ideas and a crazy need to write, I was in a blah spot. I hadn’t written anything much in well over a month. And then a Valentine’s challenge turned up, and I wrote Cold Snap. The dam finally had a crack in it.
The community here is amazing. Support and caring peeks out of every corner here. I love it!
So thank you everyone. I’m back to writing again with three wip’s (works in progress). Three entirely different novels, One was a half finished historical novel, New Hope Station. Two is a dystopian disaster, Ninety Degrees Out.
Three is the third in my Quade family series, Tomorrow.
I’m happly producing 5000 or more words a week of decently polished work. Good enough that I’m using my beta sites for test readers to give these works their first chance to be read.
So thank you all here at Prose. You certainly give me ways to break writer’s block before it can settle in and smother me completely.
My family knew I loved to write, so, my brother offered a website I could use. He said it was called "Prose," so, I decided to try it out.
That's right, I actually joined Prose at 9 years old. It went downhill from here, but after long-ass breaks, I feel comfortable here again. It's real peaceful, scrolling through stories, everyone writes so beautifully. I love to just scroll, read, listen to music.. relax.
Relax, that's the right word. Prose is my spot for relaxing, even if it seems I'm never active.
I mostly just love the social interaction and praise that I sometimes receive on Prose. I also enjoy reading other people's response to my challenges. Really gives you a chance to learn from the best!
Reading, Writing, Collaborating - Being a Proser is Great!
Prose has been a great place for posting my writing, trying writing in different genres thanks to the various challenges, and finding some awesome literature to read from very talented writers that also do these things. I have recently joined in a couple of writing collaboration projects with other authors on here, and these experiences have not only pushed me to improve at this craft, but it has also been a lot of fun, and introduced me to even more great writers and their work. I am very happy to be here, and I look forward to reading and writing on Prose as long as possible.
Prose is Special
How long have you been on this site? 5 years, though I haven't written nearly as much as most of you do in a few months :)
What brought you to Prose to begin with? Someone metioned Prose on SUPER so I browsed and started. I needed somewhere to write, it's strange I don't share my writing with my family or friends I don't know why exactly.
What is your favorite thing to do on Prose? Express myself among friends. That is Prose so many folks here are helpful friends. Challenges do help me when I need a push.
So the people here and their writing has been what keeps me here.
Thank you Prosers!
My Stay At Prose
It all began on June 10, 2020, when I wrote a poem entitled, "Lost Objects," in memory of all the objects I lost in my life, including the one I lost a while before I wrote the said poem. I then posted it on Facebook. Looking back, it was the 99th birthday of Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, back then.
After a few more poems posted on Facebook, my friend messaged me and suggested this website. It was June 26, the start of my stay at Prose, which has continued up until today, months Prince Philip passed away last April.
My favorite thing to do at Prose is to share my poems everyday, almost without fail, about everyday objects or inspired by song lyrics, and my book! I am glad to be in this wonderful community, and I plan to stay for the years to come.