On Growing as a Writer (and an announcement)

I woke up this morning to find a pitch rejection in my inbox. This was happy because the rejection was expected, but not within four hours of submission. I expected to wait 2-3 weeks for any response. I can’t take the immediate rejection as an insult because, while the pitched piece is strong, the essay walks just over the line of what this magazine publishes. I was well aware of that, having done my research first by reading their published pieces. What I said to myself was, “It can be shaped.” Also, I had a plan for where to submit next. I will enact that plan today.

It’s lovely to develop a professional relationship with my work and its acceptance /rejection. In 2008 I was just growing myself as a professional writer. Post-partum depression and PTSD derailed that process. I am beginning again on completely new themes with three children who are my full-time responsibility.

It is difficult every day not to see a paycheck–not to have a numeric compensation for this work I do. I could sit and estimate what I save us per annum by remaining at home and fully accessible to my children’s needs, but that value is one reflected in small successes.

Truly, launching oneself as a writer is the same, especially in the game of Nonfiction. Please comment! Please share! Follow me on Twitter and retweet my work! I seriously squee with joy for each of these actions, AND I take the time to respond personally. As for writing outside this blog, monetary compensation will be minimal for quite some time, I expect. I will plug away.

Currently I am in a space of consideration of what to safely share. I have a backlog of essays exploring events and themes I cannot be certain I want to own as me. Writing should not be safe, but we must still protect ourselves–a topic we will in my local writing workshop, Writing Through Trauma. You can now sign up here. (Please Overlook the misspelling of my name. This is a brand new page for Unity and we are working together to sort out the links.) The class runs Mondays, 6-8 PM from January 19-March 9. I will post course details soon. For now, know that Winter is coming. You can use it to examine those thoughts not quite sleeping.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

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