Back in November I decided to try out NaNoWriMo. This is a month long challenge to write at least 50,000 words off the top of your head. I decided this would be the perfect time to put on paper a story idea that I had carried around for over twenty years in my mind. If you accomplished it, there was a publisher that offered a chance to have the work looked over for possible publication.
Even though I knew it was rough, crude, unpolished and nowhere ready for a public read, I went ahead and sent it. I wanted to experience rejection.
I know, sounds crazy don’t it?
Up to this point I’ve been fairly insulated against rejection. None of my writing sees the public eye until thoroughly gone over and edited. Of course my editor pushes me and is my greatest critic! But I’m extremely selective about what I let out of my vast ocean of words. Family and friends have been pillars of support. Every writing club or site I’ve posted on, people have been gentle in their critiques. But I wanted a taste of the real world of publishing, to mature, to become more.
That’s what rejection can accomplish. Someone, somewhere, is not going to like my writing. No matter how polished, how good, how entertaining. This is the spice of life. The variety we need to keep it from being boring. That extra incentive to make us want to strive to do better. To step back and view our work differently.
I knew the story I sent was raw, undisciplined and unfocused. I have to admit an arrogant part of me thought maybe I’m that good. Thank heavens that got shot down! I would be insufferable otherwise. Yes, I was disappointed. To me this is a great idea for a story. I was hoping the merit of that would outweigh my shoddy writing. Maybe it isn’t all that great and they have seen plots like this forever. But, for a moment, their polite rejection made me really examined why I write.
I embraced all the feelings that rejection brought up because it finally clarified for me this insane desire to write. I’m like all other writers and have been telling stories since I can remember. Committing bits and pieces of words to paper all of my life. It is simply for me the best way to communicate.
Will I ever sell a book? Will I ever be a best selling author? Well, I’d like to think so. We must have that bit of arrogance to push our writing out into the world. In reality though, maybe not. There are a lot of writers out there far better than I. Yet, I would write no matter what. Because it is part of me, who and what I am. I can’t look at a blank expanse and not wish to scribble words upon it.
To everything in this world there exists a negative to balance the positive. I don’t like rejection, it stings. But it drives the incentive to push on, do better, refine and hone my communication style. Because no matter how many times I get rejected, I have an insane love affair with writing. Like a jilted lover I will go back again and again until I get it right. For now, that’s good enough for me.