No one likes to be rejected. Well, I can’t generalize, maybe there are those that get a kick out of it. Maybe for some, it serves as a driving force to continue with even more fervor. Maybe they’ve never had a problem with self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy.
I’m not one of those people.
My rational brain knows that there’s nothing personal meant. My rational brain knows that it’s just one opinion in a sea of possibilities. But day after day, letter after letter, even the most devoted to their art have to ask…did I miss my calling as a waitress?
Or a forensic anthropologist, or an archaeologist, or a pilot, or a teacher, or an EMT, or…ANY other job that doesn’t require me to put my heart in the hands of someone else to be judged and weighed to justify doing what I love?
Wouldn’t it be nice to just go into a nine-to-five, perform some task that doesn’t have to have any of my heart in it, go home, and get a paycheck and possibly health insurance if I’m lucky?
Writers…man, we’re a strange breed.
Rising in the dark early hours, still up at dark late hours, scribbling on napkins and notebooks. Our mental faculties always distracted to some degree by the dialogue in our heads. We write, we pour out, we mull over, and edit, and form, and shape, and create. We fester and brood. And when it looks, to our over-thinking eye, that it might be something worth sharing we throw it out into a world that’s saturated with thousands of other ideas worth sharing.
And we wait. And we hope. And we fester some more.
So it should be a relief when we get the rejection…the thirtieth or first, because now we know. And It’s better to know.
So you can go back to the drawing board and change your heart all over again. Mold it into something someone wants to read…make it something that’s acceptable.
Sometimes, you do everything they ask and find you hardly recognize your own voice afterwards.
So one has to wonder; if we take our hearts and cut them to fit the trend of the market, how much of us are we really offering to the world? And is it worth selling out to get our name on the front cover? And what makes that any different than a nine-to-five, heartless job with dental?
Except there’s no dental…
So much time, effort, and tears spent trying to tell the world a story, or explain the feelings of our hearts only to be told it isn’t enough. That if we change our story, that if we change our hearts we might be able to garner a $2.50 royalty someday.
Sounds like madness to me.
Sounds like unchecked mental disease.
At some point, don’t we have to admit, that maybe, our thoughts, our stories, are just not good enough, and maybe it would be less painful to just stop trying.
After all, life’s plenty painful enough on its own.