Emily Uduwana (she/her) is a poet and graduate student based in Southern California. Her most recent work has appeared in issues of Stone of Madness Press, Rogue Agent Journal, and perhappened mag.
Truthfully, I don’t think I can face applying for an external role either. I’m in a permanent position after being a contractor for many years and am comfortable, just a little bored. Boredom generally signalled a new contract for me. The thought of ‘pimping’ myself out now as I used to doesn’t appeal, especially within the current job market.
I thought: why would I want to change my writing into something daunting? It was the only antidote to my anxiety, and it held my hand supportively through my depression, so why would I shift the scene to make it the antagonist of the story? It was a new reality I had found myself in where anxiety was king, and my comfort was in peril. My friend swung herself around where she was seated in front of me, “let’s go,” stars painted her eyes bright as the lights overhead. How could I say no?
I had always written and felt sure that I always would but had never really felt confident enough to declare (or even whisper to myself) that I was a writer. I had often kept a notebook for my writing but took a fairly haphazard approach up until this point. I would mostly open them to a random page each time a notion came to me and would never reference any specific events. Those more organisationally inclined are probably screaming, I know.
Have you ever spent hours writing a piece or a publication and then still got a rejection email? We have all been there, so don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. Let me tell you why rejections are important!