Achieving my Publishing Goals: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry

When I started my senior year, I set a goal for myself: to have pieces of Fiction, Non-fiction, and Poetry published in some sort of legitimate magazine or journal.  I managed to pull it off without having to resort to self-publishing some half-baked fan fiction. Though I achieved my goal, I still feel anxious about how other people perceive me and my successes.

The first good bit of news came almost immediately after setting my goal. I had sent Sigma Tau Delta’s Rectangle a nonfiction essay, “Emotional Insulation,” at some point over the summer and at the beginning of the Fall Semester, they’d accepted it. At least I think they have, I’m still not even sure it’ll be published; not only did they lose my bio once, but when I asked to confirm that they received the second, I got no response.  Fingers crossed. Despite evaporating email communication, I’m honored to be possibly published there, potentially. They even invited me to attend their conference in New Mexico, and I will attend granted the great gods of school administration take pity on me and give me travel funds.

I decided to submit some poetry to The Burg on a whim which, unlike The Rectangle, imagewas published immediately. And as a true testament to my fame, I got recognized in a local creperie because of the magazine’s vast readership, read: hyper saturation and list price of FREE, in my area. Sadly, being recognized didn’t improve our service. Minor celebrity? Probably not.

Finally, there was ficition. I firmly believed that I could not write fiction. A visiting author, David Crouse, came to my writing class and I even bemoaned to him that I usually get too wrapped up in metaphor and political issues to really write a fiction. He said that concern indicated that I was smart and that he belives realizing you’re not good is the first step to getting better. I still didn’t really do much fiction writing besides cutting unneccessary sections from a piece I had written about two months earier.  It was that story that I recently learned will not only be published in our school’s literary magazine, but won the “Best Fiction” award. I also have a non-fiction essay being published, and one or two paintings, depending on space (I don’t think they want me to have four items plus a prize all in the same journal).

I may have won, but I’m still anxious about my success.

Every time I’m met with missed opportunities or hear about artists who have mastered crafts that imageI truly do not have time for, I immediately feel as if I am not doing enough. That could be you, I think, if you only worked harder. I think a part of me still wants to be the pretty, popular, artsy girl everyone wants to hang out with. I stay up late agonizing over how I should have more followers on my blog, more decorations in my room, more handmade DIY projects, or more presence on YouTube. I am focused on success, which is a good thing, but if I don’t relax, I won’t be able to enjoy the success I already have.

So, yes. I’ve finally achieved my publishing goal! I won an award that will give me an unknown amount of money. I got lots of “congratulations” from friends. I’m beyond thrilled that I won the “best fiction” prize. I may be anxious, but I should try to enjoy the success that I’ve been working very hard to earn.

I can’t put up the pictures or work that was published yet (but I will!), so in the meantime here are the pieces of artwork that weren’t accepted:

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