This Tuesday, June 30, the August issue of Psychology Today hits newsstands with my two-minute memoir "The Proof" excerpted from Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience, edited by Samantha Waltz.
A couple of years ago, when Samantha asked me to contribute to her anthology, I'd said "no" because I didn't feel like writing about growing up with two fathers, one of whom was secret from most everyone I knew. But when I finished the manuscript for The Inheritance: A Mother-Daughter Memoir, I realized I had an essay in there.
Publishing this essay in a national magazine was something I wanted and I'd submitted this essay (and others) several times to nothing but rejections. Then, this offer from Psychology Today showed up at my doorstep through no direct action by me, beyond getting the essay published in a book. (The publicity person at Seal Press -- the anthology publisher -- had sent the magazine a copy of the book.)
My "luck" seems to be another case of being at the right place at the right time with an essay that was just what the magazine was looking for.
Now I'm asking myself: what can I remember from this experience for all the future rejections that I'm sure to receive? This is my answer which I hope will help you too: You have to keep getting your work out in the world because you have NO IDEA which time it will stick or how it will arrive in your audience's lap. As artists and writers, we need constant reminders of this. We need support from a network of people cheering us on to keep sending work out because you just never know.
Is there something you can send into the world today? Another query? Another essay? A painting? A poem? If so, send it on. Somewhere, someone may be looking for just what you're offering. But if you don't offer it, that someone won't be able to find it.
Photo of Gigi and her father by Erica Berger.