Rejection

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sunrise on the beach

I’ve been putting myself out there a lot lately. A lot, a lot.

Not too much. No, I wouldn’t say too much. I’ve grown to believe that there is no such thing as ‘too much’ when it comes to this. There is only what you feel comfortable with and then that little bit more that you have to push yourself into because it’s scary but that’s also where the magic lies.

When a person puts themselves out there this much, though, there is bound to be rejection. When a person is new at this kind of pushing this far from the comfort zone, there is bound to be a lot of rejection. It’s how it goes. It’s to be expected. It’s part of the process.

Those of you who have been following me through this know where this is going. But, it’s not just that. I’m building an impressive collection of unrewarded freelance bids, unaccepted submissions, and unanswered magazine queries. Soon, I’ll be able to wallpaper the guest room.

The famous and the successful often talk about rejection. Rejection, it seems, lines the path to success. We all now know that J.K. Rowling’s masterpiece was rejected 12 times before Bloomsbury picked it up. John Grisham’s A Time to Kill? 28 times. Stephen King’s Carrie? 30 times.

I am in no way comparing myself to these geniuses.

But it puts things in perspective.

I’m putting myself out there a lot this year. I’m planning big things and trying big things and following dreams more seriously than I ever have before. I’m opening my heart to the possibilities. I’m taking seriously those quotes that line Pinterest boards up, down, and sideways.  “Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible!” (Audrey Hepburn). Those words look pretty when designed or laid upon a gorgeous photo but they mean something too. They mean more than the half-a-second of smile you feel when you read them.

Or, at least, that is what I am telling myself today.

This is, of course, not the first time I’ve faced rejection. It might be the first time I’ve faced this much of it in such a concentrated time. But you don’t get to age 32 without your fair share of rejection.

Or, at least, you shouldn’t.

“But it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” ~J.K. Rowling

Today, I am telling myself that during all of those months and years in which I didn’t feel failure, I was failing by default. I was riding along in the safety and comfort of the sure thing. The rejection stings, yes. But the looking back on those years of only talking about a dream and not getting to the point of actually working on living it, those are starting to sting even more.

If the brilliant success that is Harry Potter was rejected 12 times before it saw the light of day, then I have a lot more failing to do. Better get to it.

~~~~~

It’s impossible to not be disappointed. If I wasn’t disappointed that that would mean I didn’t really want it and if that were the case, then why did I go for it in the first place? That said, I’m glad I have the memory of trying and I have it preserved. I’m glad I also have the memories of the little burst of excitement I feel whenever I send in a submission or query. I will continue to enjoy the trying as I try to some day enjoy the succeeding.

I’m also glad that I got to meet Stephanie and Kate. They were lovely and so kind and I have no doubt that this year’s show will be spectacular.

And, finally, I’m glad that I have the support of my truly remarkable husband and best friend. They carry the torch when I can’t and there are no words with which to thank them.

~~~~~

For more rejection stats.

Another interesting read about the paths of now famous books and authors.

5 Comments

  1. I know this rejection well. I pursued fiction writing before I had kids and could have wallpapered my office with the emails and letters. however, I will go back – and soon. And like you, the rejection hurt because it was important to me. I am so proud of you for your willingness to keep going – I believe Drew Barrymore said that unpursued dreams are a wasted soul. xo
    Ilene recently posted..Finding InfinityMy Profile

  2. I’m so sorry, but I think you’ve got things well in perspective. Just keep moving forward, girl. Every step forward is one closer to your dream! xo
    michelle @ this little light recently posted..Whatchoo-Wish-You-Were-Wearin’ Wednesday : School VacationMy Profile

  3. I very much relate to this. As someone who is rarely picked for anything…well, I get it. One thing I like about the LTYM show process (at least the one that we use in DC) is that it’s less about the “12 best” than the “12 that work best together.” But that doesn’t change the disappointment.

    I don’t like posting links in comments – but this is for you and I doubt anyone else will care to look. I wrote something to very similar this post a few years ago: http://thebigpieceofcake.com/2010/07/19/blogher-2010-voices-of-year-were/

    I LOVED what you read at auditions and I think you deserve to be on stage just as much as anyone else who auditioned. But more importantly – I think you are incredibly brave. Keep putting yourself out there. Keep trying. And whenever possibly, create your own opportunities. Someone said that to me once and it stuck – and it’s exactly why I applied to produce this show.

    I love how honest you are here. You should be proud of THIS post more than anything else. At least I think so. Even if it’s just because we are so very similar….

  4. One of my favorite quotes is ‘If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.’ It sounds a little glum, but the point is that really trying means reaching farther than you know you can grasp. Sometimes you’re going to miss, and that’s okay, because eventually you’re going to reach your goals!
    Christa the BabbyMama recently posted..Win a Sweet Scraptopus: An Under the Nile Giveaway!My Profile

  5. Oh Tricia. I’m finally catching up on reading this post. I’m sorry. Rejection is hard. But the thing is that you are doing so much more than many people. You are taking a chance and a risk and putting yourself out there. You are doing and you inspire me. I have lots of hopes and plans and dreams that I want to pursue this year but I haven’t done it yet. I hide behind “being busy with work” but I know that I just have to stop planning and thinking about it and just do it. I don’t think rejection ever gets easy but you are a beautiful writer.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Life Lessons and FGOs*My Profile

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