Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dealing with the R-word

Max wanted desperately to be a writer. He'd been sending letters and manuscripts to publishers for months, and he'd received dozens of variations on the theme: "We have reviewed your submission and found that it does not meet our needs at this time." Every writer can read between the lines of such notes; we know that what the publishers really mean is, "You can't write, you can't think and everyone hates you. Also, you're ugly."

Martha Beck, Finding Your Own North Star

Funny thing about rejection. I have finally found a way to deal with it. And it's one of those stupid cliched things people keep telling you and you don't pay no mind to.

Keep busy.

Now see, if I had the choice, if there were no economic imperatives, I would keep busy by reading book after book (none of them work-related, although frequently when I'm doing this, I find bits and pieces that will be later added to speeches to make other people look smart) or watching mindless sitcom after mindless sitcom and brooding.

I do the brooding thing really well. A little incident grows in my mind, puts in roots, puts out branches and finally I have the oak tree of resentments. But nothing gets a chance to take root and grow when I'm just too frigging busy. Oh this person is angry? Tough, but I gotta concentrate on this article now. And then I have all these errands to run. And then there's the cards I have to post. And then, and then, and then....

Thankfully the marketing phase of my freelancing career is over in that I don't have to pay marketing calls to anyone to hock my services...there are a few surprises but work is relatively even and there is a lot of it. So I can sit back, relax, and oh yeah, work. But being a freelancer, you gotta be oh so careful about deadlines. (As in recent example of female who freaked because she had written a nebulous deadline...second week of November which I chose to regard as the end of the second week and she chose to regard as the beginning and freak accordingly).

But in the midst of this chaos there is a lot of rejection coming through but somehow it slips past me, or I see it, give it a brief nod, maybe a salute, and then, get on with it.

So it's Sunday now and I was supposed to have gone to Kuala Selangor with Beatrix's young stepdaughter to go look at fireflies, but stepdaughter in question has not contacted me or answered texts or emails.

I'm thinking, it's probably off.

Later for you.


Nessa said...

I will applaud and celebrate my first rejection as it will mean I have actually submitted something. Of course, I'll also be hugely depressed.

Jenn said...

If you're depressed, be sure to drown your sorrows...a little tequila goes a long way and that is why most writers imbibe

I'm just home from drowning sorrows I didn't know I had until I swallowed my first mouthful and there was this wonderful lightening of spirits....

Nessa said...

My liquor cabinet is well stocked.

John Calica said...

Kelip kelip!!!

That moment, was GOLDEN!