amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Ottawa, April 16, 2020, Rejections, Comments, Emotions, Gorgeous Novels

It’s 6:30 a.m. I’m still in my nightgown and drinking the last dregs of the coffee. It is delicious.

This morning in my e-mail, I had two rejections of poetry that I’d submitted from Beast Body Epic. I find it interesting that my first reaction to a rejection is always so personal and petty. That doesn’t last long usually, but at this time, when my anxiety levels are higher, my emotions seem to be more on the surface as well, so I found my annoyance at having work rejected lasted longer than it normally does. I had to give myself a good talking to, a reminder of what I know very well, that there are so many reasons why work isn’t accepted, and they have almost nothing to do with the quality of the work, but rather what fits in with the entire publication, the aesthetic of those reading and selecting the work, plus a myriad of other considerations.

These high and overly emotional reactions I’m having are understandable, given the time. I’m wondering if others are finding this too. Are your emotions a bit too close to the skin these days? If so, at least you know you are not alone.

I’m finding evidence of this in comments to posts on social media. I witnessed a terrible exchange with a friend who may have Covid-19 and someone I didn’t know where the person argued with my friend over whether she had Covid-19. it was disturbing, insensitive and unnecessary.

Commenters on my posts have been argumentative too, often stating the obvious. Instead of taking up the battle, I just ignore them. This isn’t a time for arguments, in my opinion. If you’re feeling argumentative and noticing you are commenting negatively on people’s social media, perhaps take a breath and ask yourself if these comments are helpful or necessary. Perhaps you need to think about your feelings and where they’re coming from. You might need a break from social media or even just some time with a loved one to get a hug, to cry into their shoulder for awhile. Or a conversation with a caring friend, who understands every part of you and loves you anyway.

I will try to limit my time on social media and the news again today. It isn’t easy, but when I do it, I feel better, more calm and able to face whatever unfortunate headline I happen to see or news I hear while mostly avoiding it, if that makes sense. Every day there’s another hopeless thing in the news. It’s a terrible time. We have to find ways to cope.

I hope you are coping with all this. I’d love to hear your strategies. I’m going to go have a long, hot shower, clean up last night’s dishes, eat breakfast and do my exercises, followed by embarking on Ocean Vuong’s novel, On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous, which has been in my to be read pile for way too long.


M Butler Hallett said...

Long listens -- proper listens -- to music. I'm taking a course in Modern Art and Ideas for free from MoMA in New York, and that's an excellent way to focus my mind, Continuing with historical research for the next novel as much as a I can. I still have my job, so I work that remotely. I'm immunocompromised and started my own isolation on March 16th. I won't lie; it's hard. When I get overwhelmed, I focus on what's good in my life, and that does help. Sometimes I just give in to the blues and eat chips.

Amanda Earl said...

thanks for reading, Michelle, and yes to eating chips :) lots of tea, of course. take care, my friend.