What Literary Rejections and Dog Training Have in Common

Oh, literary rejections. Cue the heavy sigh. As someone very new to the publishing world (who went from fearing rejection to finally starting to submit in earnest in 2014), this is a topic that’s now frequently on my mind. So far, just a couple of months into expending real energy on journal submissions, I have learned two things: that I am more resilient than I expected, and that rejections still suck. Sometimes not very much, and sometimes a lot.

But this process, like most challenging things, has actually shown the proverbial silver lining. It feels fantastic to be focusing on the literary world again – something I haven’t spent much time on since college. I am discovering excellent journals, both online and through print subscriptions; I am reading compelling short works (a satisfaction in and of itself); and best of all, I don’t feel the nagging irritation that I’m ignoring one of my main life passions.

Oddly enough, all of this echoes a different challenge that I’ve encountered in recent years, one that has also revealed unexpected benefits: rehabilitating my marvelous and snuggly dog Jasper.

Writing Workshops: Six Guidelines for Cultivating Trust

Writing workshops are a pretty amazing thing. People, often strangers, come together to share pieces that express their artistic visions and, sometimes, intimate details of their lives. It can be scary to submit your work for review, but in return for your bravery, you receive valuable feedback, encouragement, and a sense of community. Participating in a writing workshop can be a powerful and even transformative experience.

This all depends on one key ingredient: trust.