The soft, feathery pages in one’s hands that crinkle with every movement, the pages filled with a seemingly endless amount of words—picking up a newspaper can be overwhelming.
For the past year, part of my writing life has been focused on reading slush—sorting through the wobbly digital stack of your work. While I was reading slush, I was submitting my work to slush piles, so I’ve been on both sides of the table. And I have some good news for you, which I also tell myself after every rejection letter:
Good work is easy to recognize, and there isn’t as much good work as you think.
Whenever I tell my family a joke that doesn’t land, I get blank looks and silence. In a rush to fill the void, I clarify: “See, sloths are slow, so they can’t interrupt.” This is met with, “If you have to explain the joke, it isn’t funny.” It might be that I need to learn patience, though it’s also possible (however remotely) that interrupting sloth jokes just aren’t funny.