Thursday, June 02, 2011


I wrote a few months back that I'd applied for a slot in the Oxford American Magazine's Summit for Ambitions Writers workshop. I saved the money and blocked out the week in June on my calendar, but I got a form email this evening saying that I didn't make the cut.
It's a prestigious magazine and I knew that competition for the seats would be stiff, but I felt deep down that I'd be spending a week in the mountains of Arkansas learning from some of the best writers in the south. Apparently that will not happen this year.
But there's something I've learned through the years. Rejection is not the end of the world. The only way it defeats you is if you let it.
As songwriters, Jilda and I have received enough rejections to wallpaper a room. But we continue to write songs because we love writing songs. The same holds true for creative writing.

I love the process. I love tapping keys. I love it when the words flow like a deep slow moving river, and when the words don't come, I love dog-cussing the muse. Writing is not what I do, it's who I am. 
So, I have a free week in June now. If any of you have any good ideas for how I should spend it, please let me know.


  1. Well, this really sucks. A week off in June? I'd tell you to go fishing, but those cottonmouths are too dangerous.
    How about taking Jilda to Disneyworld?

  2. Anonymous10:44 PM

    So sorry you didn't make the cut :( Personally, if I had a week off in June to do anything I'd go camping. I just love the outdoors :D

  3. What about a trip to Europe? :)

  4. I'm so sorry about this - but as my wise ol mum says: when a door shuts, a window opens, or something!!! Never give up, never surrender!! Enjoy your week off!!! Take care

  5. artists of all kinds must accept rejection as part of the art. rejection doesn't mean what you did/do is no good. It only means that it didn't speak to that particular judge/jury at that particular time. a different judge/jury might have loved it.

  6. well, you could still go to Arkansas, and fish there. Eureka Springs is a lovely area, and if you are into shows, Branson, MO just up the road is a mecca for that sort of thing. Shopping, shows, beautiful mountains, the Ozarks are a wonderful place to just hang out. Your muse is probably there already waiting! :)

  7. Sorry to hear that, but I think your good attitude and perserverence will get you in next time. Meanwhile, where to go in June? Spain. Galicia. Galicia is the most affordable part of Spain these days, and the people are lovely, the scenery so relaxing. And lots of material for stories.

  8. Whatever you do, do what you love. Seems when the pressure is off, the words flow faster. Perhaps you take your week to find more of what you love.

  9. Thanks all. These are some great ideas on how to spend the week I'd allotted for the summit.
    It's been some times since we've been to Europe so that really sounds appealing, but obviously we'd need more than a week.

  10. Rick,
    Sorry about the rejection email. But heck, how can you go wrong with a free week in June?

    I really appreciate that you shared this with your readers. It helps. Marsha


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