I apologize in advance for this outburst.
A piece of flash fiction I wrote for the The Vestal Review was rejected last week which sort of set this whole thing in motion. I really liked that piece, I thought it was quality. So now I'm doubting my ability to judge my own work. Work on my NaNo has been increasingly halting because I'm a little overwhelmed with school work.
I just feel like I'm stuck in this place where I'm putting all this time and effort into a degree that no one will ever pay me for. Yes, an English degree can help you go in other directions besides writing, but I honestly don't want to do anything else. I write because I love it, because I have to do it, I can't stop myself, but now that I get closer to graduating (and having my bills ever increasing) I have to think about doing it for money as well.
Putting monetary value on my work is so difficult. When magazines and publishers aren't willing to pay for work that I originally did for free, it devalues it and makes me doubt myself as a writer. I hate entering writing contests, even though they may have cash prizes because I hate having my work held up and arbitrarily judged by people comparing it to dozens of other submissions. I'm very private about my writing and these terrible experiences trying to make it more public only tell me that it should stay private. No one wants it. But I don't know what else I can possibly do with my life. Molding words and telling stories are the only thing I know how to do. But apparently I don't do it very well.
I need something positive to happen to me, I'm having some kind of quarter life crisis here.