Fireside Kingston Lacy

Christmas Fireside at Kingston Lacy

The road to publication is paved, not with gold, but with plenty of frustration and even more hard work.

The first magazine article for which I was paid, many years ago, was never actually published. The magazine folded, but paid me anyway. At least the fee was enough to pay my train fare to Germany to visit friends.

Along the road to now there have been some successes, and even more rejections. That’s the way it goes and part of the character we have to develop as writers is a thick skin. Rejection is not personal; what is written is not what the editor needs or wants at that time.

Then there are the editors who never let you know if they want your work. Even if you send the work by post and enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope, you hear nothing. The only thing to do is to send out more writing, so that you are not constantly watching for the postman. Eventually it may be a suitable period of time has elapsed and you are able to send a query to the first editor, but if you have plenty of submissions out there you won’t feel as anxious. (This would not apply if your submissions are full novel manuscripts, but does for articles, short stories and poems.)

Another frustration is when an editor replies to your submission, saying that he/she wants to retain the piece for further consideration. A year or so later, still nothing from them and you feel unable to send the same piece elsewhere. The only thing you can do with that is rewrite the piece if it’s an article, slanting it in a different manner aimed at another publication.

This last month I have had a poem published in a local publication – The Purbeck Gazette. ( Unfortunately frustration has reared its head again as I’ve not seen it in print, only on the web. Normally we receive a copy delivered to our home, as does nearly every household. For the first time, nobody has seen one, and even the local library and tourist information office had so few copies that they were all gone before a lot of people were able to get to them. In the great scheme of things this is miniscule of course.

I have also had a short story published in the Crystal Magazine ( for details).

In spite of these frustrations, if we’re writers we carry on. For sure if you don’t write anything to send out, you will fail. Keep at it and your perseverance may pay off. Good luck and Merry Christmas to all. We wish for Peace and Harmony everywhere.

If you go down to the woods today CBJ






7 thoughts on “Don’t be Foiled by Frustrations

  1. That’s a good, optimistic thought for the end of another year in which we didn’t become rich or famous! You were lucky to get paid for an article that wasn’t published. When I started writing, I seemed to spend half my time chasing up payment from magazines that had published my work but were very reluctant to send the promised cheque.
    Love the photo of your Christmas fireside – very cosy. But it’s so unseasonably warm here that we haven’t got any heating on today, and the windows open! Just been for a walk around our village and admired the daffodils in bloom outside the church.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours, and all good wishes for 2016.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I know what you mean about chasing up magazines for promised payment.
      It’s also too warm here for much heating to be on – should save on the bills with that. The fireside scene was taken at Kingston Lacy National Trust property. They normally close the house for the winter, but part was open for pre-Christmas visitors, for a Victorian Christmas seen through the eyes of children. It did look very cosy.
      Good luck with writing for next year. Have a good Christmas, and a happy New Year.

  2. Chris, I am so sorry I haven’t commented sooner on this post. I feel badly for you that you go through so much grief. This world has never been too kind to artists and that is an unfortunate fact. I truly wish you all the best and GOOD LUCK in all your writing endeavors, and I hope you see your poem published on paper. Your story makes me grateful that I only go as far as sharing my work with my friends. I’ve always had a dream of writing books, but I don’t know if I am willing to go through so much trouble. Really. Especially as I get older I just want peace and smooth sailing. 🙂 ❤

  3. I think it’s great that you keep plugging along despite setbacks. You are so right… if you don’t send your work out for the world to see, nothing will ever happen. You can’t succeed without failing a few times… or a lot!!!

  4. My Dear Chris,

    Thanks for this. I frankly say that I learned much from this post.

    Besides my Tweets and postings on Facebook, and my Blog, of course, I am just working on one novel for publication, which from my calculations might take years. Publishing that is very much on my mind, but shall cross that bridge when I come to it!

    Went through Your ‘Buccaneers.’ Hope they don’t visit me. Am quite inland, anyway, unless they send their ‘land’ cousins! But since they have unfurled their sails and sailed away, I must be Safe!

    Kudos on Your various writings. And Wish You ALL THE VERY BEST INDEED.

    Love and Regards.


    1. Thank you for those kind comments, Baba, and well done you for writing your novel. I once thought I’d like to write one, but I seem to only cope with small pieces of writing now. Happy with that all the same. xx

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