Finnian Burnett


I’ve been taking a lot of chances with my writing lately. Sending to places I wouldn’t normally send, trying experimental forms I haven’t tried before. I think all the writing I’ve been doing lately has helped me find my voice. And finding my voice has given me the freedom to subvert it. Like, what if I tried something new? What if it doesn’t work? What’s the most I can lose?

I’ve been working a lot at not self-rejecting–that is, not assuming I’m going to get a no so I don’t bother trying. Recently, I submitted a proposal for an academic book chapter. I almost didn’t submit. I wrote and rewrote my proposal and tried and discarded several approaches. I finally told my wife, what if it’s not accepted. And she said, “You’ll have exactly what you have right now, except you won’t have bothered to try.”

That’s a thing. Self-rejection is worse in some ways than actual rejection because at least when you submit and get rejected, you can commiserate with your writing friends who have all been rejected before.

4 thoughts on “Taking Chances

  1. youngv2015 says:

    Very well put! I had to work through the rejections. I almost stopped submitting and then I read an essay that said writers should try for a 100 rejections a year. And the more I submitted, the easier the no thank you letters got. AND I’ve had some of my writing accepted.

    1. Finnian Burnett says:

      Yes! They do become easier – and you do start to realize that a decline doesn’t mean your story isn’t good. It just doesn’t fit with that editor.

  2. August is a very wise person! And you’re kicking ass with all of these chances you’re taking, giving people a good role model to take their own chances.

  3. Anne Hagan says:

    I love that you’re submitting so much and finding success fairly often. It’s fun to see what you’re up to and celebrate your successes with you, Finn!

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