Well here we are at Week 331.
Every now and then we throw in a few nuggets of wisdom about the site and what we look for. Or how we consider submissions in general, so with that in mind, I’d like to concentrate on fledgling writers and pass on a few bits of advice. I think any writer who has done this for any length of time will agree with most of these.
I think it is appropriate that I finished on thirteen!
1. You have to be thick skinned.
2. You can’t take anything personal.
3. Biggie number one – You can never assume that your work will be taken in the way that you intend. Words need to tell the story. None of us can mind-read.
4. You need to accept frustration and disappointment.
5. This is another biggie – You need to be realistic.
6. Not everyone can be wrong when you are right.
7. But you can be right when everyone else is wrong.
8. If you are right when everyone else is wrong – You may still get nowhere even though you are right.
9. No matter how skilful you are, you may still fail.
And sorry to all our American friends idealism. No matter how hard you are willing to work, you still may get nowhere.
10. Opinions matter.
11. Opinions don’t matter.
12. Opinions only matter or don’t when you agree with them.
13. Last biggie – Luck is more of a factor than it ever should be.
Following on from this.
If we are asked to send feedback or decide to do so because we see something in your writing.
1. We need to be thick skinned as we have been slaughtered for trying to help at times.
2. Due to number one, we don’t take anything personal.
3. We don’t always see what you are getting at. But if the three of us find there to be the same issues, then that does say something.
4. We know what rejection feels like. Sometimes it would be easy to say yes, but that doesn’t do anyone any good. Somedays we are sending out fifty rejections – That doesn’t fill us with any joy. (A wee add-on from that thinking – There are some unscrupulous people out there who will offer to write a report on your work. Most of it will come back positive. That way you don’t mind paying the hundred pounds or whatever for it!)
5. We will try and focus on positives as well as negatives. But the negatives are what need to be worked on.
6. We might be right and every other site wrong and vice versa.
7. You might not agree with our critique.
8. As long as your work has continuity and is technically correct, then we would suggest that you should send it out to as many sites as you can. But be prepared for more of the same.
9. We have on so many occasions stated that a refusal is a fit for site decision. Make sure you have done your homework on the site and the type of work it accepts.
10. Our opinions only matter for our site.
11. Our opinions don’t matter to other sites.
12. Our opinions are well received when they cause an acceptance or our feedback points to something that the writer hadn’t realised.
13. We wish everyone who sends out their work all the luck in the world – They’ll need it.
I really didn’t fuck about too much with those lists, the thoughts are genuine and I really do hope that this helps anyone who is starting out and happens to be reading this.
Onto this week’s stories. We had two new folks who we welcome to the site, two old friends and one of our lovely editors. (We have two who are lovely and one who has never been described as lovely for so many reasons.)
Topics this week include; bad news, a suggestion, a belief, stress and a tribute.
As always our initial comments follow.
First up was our first new writer.
Jo Robson’s story was ‘A Controlled Moment Of Light.’
‘Really great writing.’
There was some lovely word play like the spots falling off the dress.’
Our wonderful colleague was next up on Tuesday.
‘Tippleganger And Dozzle: A Feeble Fable Of The Fantasmagorical‘ was a story closer to the tonne for Leila Allison.
‘Brilliant use of Buckfast.’
‘The ghost is a wee tinker.’
And the week wouldn’t be a week without Yash Seyedbagheri. He broke the back of the week with ‘Push, Push, Push.‘
‘More than a musing but plenty for a story.’
‘Yash consistently writes with skill and clarity.’
‘Very well done!’
Tom Sheehan has been introduced close to one hundred and fifty times. I don’t think I need to say anymore.
‘A Psalm For Eddie‘ was published on Thursday.
‘Tom at his best.’
‘He does these so well, you feel his respect.’
We finished off with our second new writer.
Jennifer Walkup’s first story for us was ‘Bones.’
‘We can’t pass this one up.’
‘The tension was wound around the dialogue brilliantly.’
Just a couple of things to finish off with.
It was great to see Scotland at The European Championship – But we got humped as usual.
Talking about being humped – I always love to see a politician falling on his sword. And if married Matt Hancocks married aid hadn’t fallen on Matt’s sword, he may not have had to resign. She will now have to answer that never-ending question of ‘How could you?’
I maybe am a bit suspicious that this has came out now, after our beloved leader was said to have called the now ex-Health Secretary ‘Fucking useless’. Who released the footage? Why was there footage? Why was the footage allowed to become public?
Overall, I don’t give a shit! Although it does give me a bit of a laugh especially when I think of the lady as more a marital aid for a, hypocritical selfish little fucker who had no regard for his wife, his family or the people he has been dictating to. The two of them must be so proud!
I always have a look at Birthdays and Deathdays – I don’t know why. Maybe it is me hoping that there are a few politicians included!
I see that it was Mel Brooks birthday this week. I thought ‘Spaceballs’ was awful as was ‘Blazing Saddles’ but I loved ‘The Producers’ and one of my all-time favourites – ‘Young Frankenstein’!
I also saw that the lovely lady that was Joan Sims died this week in 2001. I think that the ‘Carry On’ films are my not-guilty pleasure. They are dated, sexist and childish but they were my childhood and I still watch them with a lot of fondness.
And dare we mention GG Allin who also died this week in 1993. When I read some of his lyrics I wonder how inspirational Shakespeare and Jane Austin were to him?
For anyone who doesn’t know him, look up the reference –
You are probably in for a treat or a shock depending on what Jesus Christ does for you.
Great post, Hugh. I think your list is spot on.
I am going to be honest and admit that I wanted, really really wanted to have a header with a close up of Hancock’s hand on that woman’s bum. It is all sorts of wrong. They looked like a couple of teenagers behind the bike shed. Nothing wrong with that much until you remember there were six children affected by this betrayal and the country were paying both of them for their time while they were grasping, groping and gasping. Anyway I thought we might get sued if I did that so I looked for something else. dd