Monday, August 23, 2010

Rejection and the Single Guy

I get rejected a lot.

But this is a writing blog, so let's focus on Rejection Slips: Dang! I've got a lot of those. I should wallpaper my bedroom so that all the ladies I bring home can read them.

This is a good thing.

It's old by now, but you can't go four steps on the Writing Internet without running across somebody who got a piece published after 84 rejections. And you can't read a biography without ferreting out from between the lines that One Day of Luck that explains the rest. Luck is the 1% that makes the 99% pay.

Fortunately, by all accounts it doesn't take a lot of luck to make it as a writer.

Rejection means I'm trying. And caring about rejection motivates me when I don't want to try anymore. When it's no fun and I'm feeling demotivated, I can just look at a rejection form and say "well, dammit, I'll show them!" and keep trying. If I were feeling pithy, I'd say that the only person who can reject you is yourself.

I'm going to go so far as to say that I Love Rejection. Especially brutal rejection, fast and to the point. "You, sir, are a Bad Writer, you should feel bad about that piece, and here's WHY: 1,2,3." Wham! Reaction! "Well,  try this one!" Until They Stop Being Brutal. They're the ones with the money, I'm the one with the talent. We can have a beautiful relationship.

I've had a lot of experience with rejection, but I've also had a lot of experience getting what I want by blatant stubbornness. Not the jackass kind, but the smart stubborn that molds itself into the right shape to get through the obstacle. That sees the obstacle as a challenge all of its own.

That is to say, it's not doing the work that's hard, it's getting the work in the first place.

And being rejected a million times plus one is not the same as being rejected every time.


I am fascinated by the idea of human colonization of Europa (and Ceres). It just seems like it'd be fun to be from a small-town moon (minor planet).

Anyways, if there's life there I say we eat it and steal its Unobtainium.

500 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long To Die" - in progress (~9/100)


  1. Good post--I've been getting a bunch of rejections lately, and it's pretty disheartening. Writing's the one thing I feel I have any talent with, and typically makes up what I do in the vast majority of my free time. So it sucks to never get a single publication wanting anything I write, you know?
    Well, I did what I try to always do nowadays... sent the stories off to new places (after tweaking some of them).

  2. Oh, it'll happen eventually. Everything does, given enough time.

    I find rejection relaxing. Thanks to getting rejected, I know two of those pieces need to be tweaked. But one of those two has official Promise. Classy.


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