As long as I keep in mind that I can’t expect any type of recognition or monetary compensation for my writing and music, I do just fine.
It’s days like today, when I spent a week shredding apart my past to get at a good story, only to face rejection, again, that I start to question what the hell I’m trying to play at anyways. In this case, I was sure I had a market, the editor asked for another draft. Somehow, I managed to make my piece too terrifying for the publication.
The sad part? It’s a true story. From my very own life. Too dark. Too sad. Our readers don’t want to hear that…ad infinitum, etc. etc.
Today, I was sitting at the library, staring at my county inbox, which was taking forever to load, as per usual, and thinking about the article I pitched to a bigger newspaper. The editor was kind but the idea didn’t make the cut, because similar profiles had been covered in their paper recently.
This happens all the time in the world of freelance writing. Freelance writing is all about ideas. A good portion of the week for a successful freelance writer is spent documenting ideas generated from being out and about in the world and then hashing them out to see which will stick. A lot of people can write. Fewer people can come up with a winning idea. Which is why breaking into magazines is such a bottleneck.
What really matters sometimes is nothing, learning to love the rejection, the pain, the interstices, the spaces where nothing comes true and nothing seems to resonate with other people. You’re wielding a gun in the dark, a Glock or a Sig, and there’s nothing out there to hunt that you can see, but you can still feel it there, lurking. You can feel the spite in the air, the demons that don’t want you to succeed. They speak through people, tell you to give up before you try. But if you push on, you find something else on your side. Endurance. You can do anything if you, like the Terminator, just keep coming and coming and coming. Like Chucky in Child’s Play, they can melt you down to a puddle of plastic and somehow you will reform and ooze back together to pursue your mission.
The theme of the day is rejection.
If you’ve chosen to be a writer, musician or artist in this life, congratulations. And my apologies. Continue reading