Tuesday, May 18, 2004

One of the hardest things a writer faces is rejection.

One would think that after fifteen years of getting up in front of clients to present the "next best ad campaign" only to have it shot down because the client hated the color yellow on the storyboard (totally irrelevant), or he thinks you want to shoot on location in Bora Bora for vacation I'd have built up some sort of scar tissue or something that prevents me from taking rejection so personally.

I'm afraid that's not the case. Sure I can go back to the drawingboard and rewrite a piece based on the editor's feedback...Sure I can take pride in the fact that the piece in question was actually accepted elsewhere...

But it still sucks.

I know I'm not alone in the writing world where once a piece gets rejected, the writer tends to examine his or her strengths and weaknesses. As the thoughts swirl in my head (should I just hang it up? Should I continue to keep plowing away, comforted by the fact that everyone gets material rejected?) I'll just sit here, drink my lavender tea and kvetch about it until I've mustered enough courage to jump in with both feet and resume playing the game.

Writing a novel is so much easier than writing nonfiction pieces or short stories. It's like being in a womb for nine months because it's warm and comfortable and it's just "you"...no one else around to bother you or tell you what to do or tell you what you should be doing different; and the best part? So long as you haven't promised the book to anyone or are under contract, you can take as long as you like to finish the book...whereas, once you finish the shorter piece, you feel compelled to send it out for submission; or maybe you've written the piece under a prearranged agreement. In that case, feedback is inevitable...and it's either good or it's bad.

But I suppose if I never sent out my pieces for submission, I'd never know my potential or my limitations. So I think I'd rather run the risk of getting rejected than to live my life never trying.

"There is no failure except in no longer trying."

~Elbert Hubbard~

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