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Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's Like Never Getting Past the First Date

Well, I've been wincing from the sting of rejection this last month. It's like a bee, a really massive bee, that hovers around me everyday, picking the most inexplicable moments to attack. When my guard is down and I forget, for a moment, that I wasn't good enough, the bee, with an inflated sense of duty, dive-bombs me. I find myself in the middle of the parking lot on my way out of class, cursing the air.

Here's the story. For the first time ever, I had two queries accepted this last month, as opposed to straight manuscripts. I was thrilled! Finally I've learned how to throw out the bait. But with both publications, they requested more of my writing. The minute I sent them that writing, they fell silent and I haven't heard anything from them since. This is the long silence before rejection. In my limited experience, if a publication is going to use my writing, I hear right away.

It's kind of like going out on a date, getting a kiss, and then never hearing from him again. I have a very witty friend, Amy Klein, who says that if they don't call in the first 24 hours, they "ain't never callin'."

It's just painful, there's no two ways about it. You meander through your days wondering, "What if I should have left out that anaolgy?" "What if I should have written in third person instead of first?" "What if my whole future as a published author rested on that comma?"

Dwayne pointed out that this may actually be the levels of acceptance. First round is a blanket "no." Second round is initial interest followed by a "no." That makes me feel good on some level; however, I think the second "no" is worse than the first, because it's a bit more personal.

It reminds me of the two producers I worked for at Nick Movies. One producer, R~, hated interns, as a rule. She didn't want me in her office, ever. If she had her way, I hid under the desk just so she didn't have to look at me. Funnily enough, I wasn't offended by this, because we had never even been introduced.

Compare this then to J~, another producer at Nick Movies who rejected me. She interviewed me for a full-time job. My supervisor sat in the very same room as us literally begging J~ to hire me. "She's superwoman" my supervisor said, pressing my application against her heart. "She'll be so good for the office!"

J~ talked to me a bit, got to know me, and then showed me out the door -- without a job. I obviously hadn't captured her imagination.

And I haven't captured the imagination of these two publications either. As cool as I try to be about it - "yeah this is the writing life" - it still stings. Most of the time I just ignore it, but ever now and then I just have to stop and say, "What a crock!!"


Blogger Josh said...

I just read this for the third time. Oh, the joys. I'm steps (big, giant steps) behind you but I feel your pain. Thanks for the therapy.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You will be rejected far more than accepted. Talentless people never produce anything worthy of consideration or rejection. Unfortunately, you have talent.

Remember those profesional baseball players - if they could only hit the ball four times out of ten, they would go straight to the hall of fame. No one does it!

Write for yourself and if even if no one notices, you will have pleased an intelligent, discerning reader - you.

By the way, I so enjoy reading your blog because I just love the writer. Really!

Had any amazinly good chocolate dessert lately - I think you need a fix.


8:42 PM  

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