Dealing with Acceptance

Groucho Marx famously said 'I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.' It's amazing how often writers share this prejudice.

You'd think dealing with rejection would be bad enough, but many writers make heavy weather of getting a story accepted too.

'Perhaps I should wait until I hear from journal X?' they say or 'Do I really want my work to appear in Z? Is it really the best I could do for myself?'

I've never understood this attitude, despite having spent most of my teens mooning after young men I immediately despised as soon as they asked me out because why would I want to go out with anybody who was interested in somebody as boring as me?

The attitude in writers (and maybe in lovers too) that this behaviour denotes is the philosophy of scarcity - a fundamental belief that there is only so much to go around and if we accept the first offer that comes along, we'll have nothing to give to the second (and probably better) one that follows.

Instead we should adopt the philosophy of abundance (in writing, and maybe in lovers too!) and assume that getting this story off our hands frees us up to write the next story, which will be SO MUCH better than the one we've just placed.

If we assume our talent and industry are finite, we will produce little and hoard that little against a future that might never arrive. If we assume we are unlimited in skill and opportunity, we will be profligate in submitting our work and prodigious in producing more - which would you rather be?