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Lifting the Curtain to a Successful Month

It's been an extremely successful month for me in terms of writing. But this is just this month. There have been plenty of other months that came before this one, hidden behind the curtain, and they look far different.

By Stephen Kramer AvitabilePublished about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - April 2024
Lifting the Curtain to a Successful Month
Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

April has been a fantastic month for me in terms of writing endeavors. I’d like to share what’s been so great about it just as many other writers would do. Share successes. I’ve noticed other writers or artists have shared successes and when you just see the snippet of their success, it appears everything has been going right for them all along. But we haven’t seen behind the curtain, we haven’t seen their hard work and their failures and those months that were fraught with disappointment. In everyone’s case, it’s far from the truth. But for the outside observer it isn’t always apparent.

April has been an incredible month for me. But previous months have been difficult. Plenty of disappointment and rejection. Plenty of time in which I had been working towards my goals and just felt I couldn't move the needle even one inch. Failure after failure.

I’ve realized that there is something about myself that I like most of all. I never give up. Every time I fail, it’s just another opportunity to showcase my favorite quality.

With that being said, I’ve continued to push through difficult months and landed in the lovely month of April. I found out a short story of mine would be published in Mollusk Lit, I found out a screenplay I entered into The Script Lab Free Screenplay Contest moved on to the Quarterfinalist round, I found out the day after 4/20 that a short story I submitted to On The High Literary Journal was accepted (how about that?), and oh, that story I mentioned that Mollusk Lit would be publishing, it’s up! You can read “The Origin of Curse Words” there if you’d like. Quite excited about that.

And with the news of another short story being accepted to On The High Literary Journal, that will make 7 short stories that I will have had published in various publications over the past year. 7 stories in 4 different publications. This is exciting because this is exactly the kind of goal I have been working towards… not to mention a screenplay still in the running for a contest. But this is exactly the front-facing success I’ve mentioned. I’ve seen friends and acquaintances with similar enough accomplishments in the past. They post this kind of success, I see it, I am happy for them, I get the wrong idea in my head that everything has been going smoothly for them because they’ve never posted about rejection after rejection, and then I feel a bit sad that I have not seen any success like that.

But their successes stand in front of the curtain. What’s behind the curtain? I have no idea. But I know what’s behind my curtain.

I know in front of my curtain, I can say in the last year I have had 7 short stories accepted/published in 4 different publications and have a script in the Quarterfinalist round of a contest. I know I can add to that, dating back two and a half years, three more contests I had entered stories into that moved on to second rounds, third rounds, fourth rounds… I have seen successes and I have seen my writing grow. So, if that’s all I say, if I don’t lift the curtain, the outside observer may feel discouraged if they haven’t seen similar success and know they have just seen many rejections.

Lifting the curtain…

Oh, I have seen many rejections too.

Another way to word it, out of the 224 publications/contests I have submitted to/entered, I have been published 7 times. 20 are pending. I haven’t made the cut 197 times.

197 times I did my best, sent my work out, and someone said, “No thanks.” 197 times it didn’t work out.

It’s important to note because it’s the truth. And without that context the picture is painted with far different colors. The valley in the painted picture is not all lush greens and bright beams from the sun. There are plenty of shadows as well. 197 times I’ve seen the shadows. 197 opportunities to do my favorite thing, though. Not give up.

Just as you cannot have light without dark, you cannot have success without failure. But I won’t be focusing on the shadows, even if I lived exclusively in them for quite some time. The sun is around the corner, you just have to keep walking. No one walks your path for you. I want to focus on the light, as April has shown me less and less clouds and sunnier days. I’m excited for my short story that’s been published and thrilled about my upcoming story as well. I will share that one once it is available. And I hope people will enjoy the one that I am able to share today.

Today’s current forecast: Sunny.


About the Creator

Stephen Kramer Avitabile

I'm a creative writer in the way that I write. I hold the pen in this unique and creative way you've never seen. The content which I write... well, it's still to be determined if that's any good.


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Comments (34)

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  • Shirley Belk23 days ago

    So glad you aren't a quitter! Well done, you!!

  • JBaz24 days ago

    Congratulations , on a well deserved placement with the leader board

  • Christy Munson26 days ago

    Good to hear I'm not alone in the Behind the Curtain space. I, too, persevere and that makes all the difference. I'm just now turning to creative writing as something to do for myself and of course hope it'll take off and become a "career" kind of thing... anyway, great article. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • The Dani Writer27 days ago

    An excellent focus! I cannot stress how much this perspective is needed for sharing because others do not get to see the 'behind-the-scenes' turmoil, struggle, disappointment, and/or chaos. You provided quantifiable data for context. Nailed it! Congratulations on your hard-earned "wins" inclusive of this TOP STORY!

  • Andy Potts27 days ago

    Congrats on the top story, and thanks for sharing some ideas about other places I could try to get my work published!

  • Anna 27 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!

  • D. D. Lee28 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story and all of your literary successes thus far Stephen! You’re an inspiration to me!

  • Mika Oka28 days ago

    Congratulation! Many many more great months ahead for your writing endeavors

  • shahin Miah28 days ago

    Congratulations, and I love your pride in your perseverance too!

  • Mackenzie Davis28 days ago

    Thank you for this, Stephen! So inspiring, and very needed to hear about the entire picture, not just the bright colors. :D So excited for you!

  • L.C. Schäfer28 days ago

    It's how many times you get back up. Nobody gets up like a real writer. 💪

  • It's exactly like you say, some just see the snippet of success but can't see the hours of work, the tone of rejections, the amount of research and development you put into your books, stories and how most of the time you fail. But you learn too. That's why it's not easy. You can't expect success overnight

  • Heather Hubler29 days ago

    Thank you for sharing your journey, both the successes and the failures! You have a wonderful mindset and I'm so happy for you that your dreams are being realized :) Congratulations on your achievements!

  • Hannah Moore29 days ago

    Congratulations, and I love your pride in your perseverance too!

  • Rachel Deeming29 days ago

    Congratulations! And thanks for being so honest about how hard it has been too. I had read an article by you before which highlighted your determination to succeed and the setbacks you'd had. You've gained a bit of momentum and I sincerely hope it continues.

  • Nessy Writer29 days ago

    Congratulations! Thank you so much for sharing your experience both behind the curtain and in front, very inspirational. I think it's so important to show both because exactly as you say it gives that encouragement not to give up, to keep going in pursuit of what you love. Very well done.

  • Back to say congratulations on your top story.

  • Flamance @ lit.29 days ago

    Amazing job congratulations top story

  • Cyrus29 days ago


  • Belle29 days ago

    I love this. Congratulations on all your amazing accomplishments! Something I find inspiring is knowing that a lot of works from popular authors we know today were also rejected before their fame... Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing! Congrats on top story!!!

  • Real Poetic29 days ago

    I’m not surprised that you are succeeding. You are a talented writer. Congrats on 7 publications and to many more to come! 💕

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • #CCraqdi #Books

  • Cheryl A Nocera 29 days ago

    Congratulations. That is great.

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