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Even if you've never seen Disney's animated movie, Finding Nemo, you've probably heard its most famous line, sung by Dory the fish (and voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming." In that scene, Dory is trying to encourage Nemo's father, Marlin, not to give up.
I've decided to take Dory's line, change it a little to fit my needs, and use it as my personal mantra:
Just Keep Writing.
Just Keep Submitting.
It seems like obvious advice for a writer, I know. One's work will never be published if one doesn't first write it and then submit it somewhere. As I've written here before, however, it's so easy to get discouraged. I did quite a bit of writing last year and quite a bit of submitting, but all I got in return was a pile of rejection letters. It's easy to give up after that. I wouldn't say that I did give up, but I'll admit that I haven't been nearly as enthusiastic or motivated about writing and submitting this year as I was last year. Until....
Until last month when, out of the blue, I received an email stating that one of the poems I'd submitted to Spider magazine over a year ago has been accepted for publication. (Insert happy dance here!) That one little email changed my whole perspective. While it's true that I still have to wait a few years to see my poem in print, the knowledge that someone out there liked it enough to accept it gives me hope. It also reminds me that I need to keep on writing and keep on submitting.
In all likelihood, most of the poems and stories I write will never get published. I need to keep on trying, though, and never give up. Someday, when I least expect it, I will get good news again!