Greetings from the Writer’s Room

Welcome to my blahg. I’m Eric Avedissian, a writer from New Jersey. I’ve authored a handful of short stories, a fantasy novella and a role-playing game. My current project is an urban fantasy/horror thriller/family saga novel called ACCURSED SON. I spent the last 27 years as a journalist for local newspapers in my corner of the Garden State. Though news reporting was my profession, I’ve written creatively my whole life. I have a Masters in Writing from Rowan University frequently attend writing conventions. I’m also an Associate Member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

I’m usually up writing at the crack of dawn, and frequently post on Twitter with #5amwritersclub, a merry band of coffee-consuming, bleary-eyed early birds. Most of these tweets begin with the boisterous proclamation, ARISE, SCRIBES! When I tweet that, I’m summoning my fellow writers to plant their butts in their chairs and mash their fingers on their keyboards and write their hearts out. That’s the only life I know. Bad posture, stooped shoulders, bleary-eyed and lying with words on a screen. The robust coffee aroma, the eyes caked with sleep grit, the foggy-headed certainty that today will be the day you meet your word count. There’s nothing finer than greeting the dawn and writing.

Having trouble with a character, plot, or particular detail in your writing? Ask an expert, get feedback, thrust your stories before beta readers. It’s how you improve in your craft. Constantly, doggedly chasing life and writing about it like some world-weary chronicler, capturing all the details and emotion and struggles before the lights go out forever.

Rejection will visit you. It’s visited me so long that I have a spare bedroom for it. Editors and agents won’t connect with your work. Some beta readers will scratch their heads and stare blankly at your stories, at the important details you were desperately trying to convey. When these moments occur and you’ve hit the nadir of your writerly existence, when depression and impostor syndrome and self-pity take hold, it’s important you realize that every writer has been there. Writers have wandered around Rejectionville before. It’s no big deal. Everyone at several points in their careers is handed rejection. What you do with it defines you, I think. Wallow too long and that’s time spent not writing. It’s important you climb back on your horse, bicycle, mid-size luxury sedan or whatever you drive and continue on. Writing should be about writing, not curled up on the couch sobbing at rejection.

Here are some articles on writers and rejection:

The Bulletproof Writer: How To Deal With Rejection, by Joanna Penn.

How to Deal with Rejection as a Writer by Meg LaTorre.

Why Your Writing Has Been Rejected and How to Cope by Kyra Thomsen.

The Rejection Audit: What if Your Writing Rejections Are Actually Good News? by Jennie Nash.

Don’t be sad. Don’t despair. Don’t eat an entire jumbo container of Ben & Jerry’s Disappoint-Mint. Get up, dust yourself off, and keep writing. I’ve been a lifelong writer, creating books and stories since high school. After getting my BA in Communications, I sunk decades into a journalism career. Won many awards. Broke several stories. Took risks. All the while time passed and my writerly dreams were fading. In my early 40s, I decided I’d dedicate myself to this journey. I’d work during the day and write speculative fiction in my spare time. I was a power-scribe on nights and weekends. This time, nothing would get in my way.

I submitted the stories and received multiple rejections. It was the literary equivalent of the Hindenburg disaster. Roiling flames. Smoke. The “Oh, the humanity!” guy overwhelmed with tragedy.

Licking my wounds, I went back to school for a Masters in Writing. As the oldest person in class, I felt intimidated. Anxiety and fear consumed me. Yet I commuted an hour to campus at night because nothing would quell my writerly dreams. During my studies, I learned. I dedicated more time to the craft. I wrote and failed. And wrote more. And failed more. I became a writing and failing machine. Then one day a magazine published one of my science fiction stories. Elated, I wrote more and sold another story. And another. In between everything came multiple stinging rejections, but I persevered and improved. Some days are better than others. The words gush like a waterfall or halt to a mere trickle. It all depends. For me, sticking to a schedule and forming positive writing habits will do wonders in the long run.

Writing is a marathon, not a quick dash. You’re in this for years, always moving towards the horizon, covering many miles, falling and getting back up. You focus, stay hydrated, and keep churning out words. Because with writing, the long run is your destination and the stories are how you get there.

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