The other day I was rejected. It’s funny. The rejection really hurt, even though it was a relationship I initially had no thoughts about, at least not in a serious way.
I’m both surprised and nonchalant about the rejection. On the one hand, who could possibly turn my writing (and, therefore, me) down? On the other hand, it’s no surprise that I was (politely, kindly, if-only-you-were-my-type) let down.
I have the classic writer’s brain — I am at the same time a self-effacing, low-self-esteem artist, and the egocentric, confident author. Both surprised and shocked by your interpretation and acceptance (or not) of my work, and therefore, me.
Oh, you know. You’ve been there. The guy who’d have been your boyfriend — since you were already such good friends — if only you were his “type.” For a writer, or any artist, this is a daily experience.
So, I was rejected by an agent I didn’t initially know I cared about. She contacted me first, and I was flattered, interested…oh, I was so confident! I was sure I was right for her! But in the end, it was not to be. Reading her assessment of my work — which led her ultimate rejection of me — I could nod and say, yes. That’s right. It’s a fair, objective assessment.
So I revise. I believe in my talent. I challenge myself to move beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary. I mean, geez. I can get an A on any old paper. I can write a standard news story or a feature profile with the best of ’em. But long-lasting art? A unique perspective? A truth heretofore untold? An investigative scoop? It’s in me! I know it is! The question is if I have the courage to give it legs and eyes. I am very good at being average. I have thrived on being average. I could make a career of it.
But is that enough?