Tuesday, March 17, 2009

write-jection thoughts

I live in fear of rejection. Heck, I could even put "live" in quotation marks.

Surely part of the reason I didn't make it as a writer (or an actor, or a man, etc.) is because I am unwilling to put myself on the line and submit my work/myself for consideration, cringing at the possibility of rejection.

My friend Merrill is an aspiring writer also, though he writes less than I do. He and Big Anklevich and I were talking about websites and podcasts and magazines and web-zines to submit stories to, and a couple of names came up more than once. One in particular seemed to publish the kind of work I tend to write, and often, the work they buy is of a lesser quality than, say Asimov's.

So I submitted a story to them. It was one I wrote really recently, a short, silly little piece that's supposed to be both scary and funny, and probably ends up being neither. Big Anklevich absolutely loved it when I sent it to him, and kept insisting that I flesh it out more to a much longer story. Merrill thought it was good enough to submit, and though I was loathe to do so,* we did.

Well, it got rejected. That shouldn't come as a surprise, but it still did. And it really shouldn't have bothered me in the slightest (since I didn't think the story was all that great anyway), but for some reason, it still did. Merrill tried to comfort me by telling me that, despite my great love for that particular venue, it just ain't all that great.

I appreciated that, but I'm really one of those guys who spends twenty minutes mustering up the courage to ask that tall, cold-looking girl across the room to dance, so when the George Michael song starts, and I actually ask her, and she turns me down . . . I don't ask any other girls to dance. And I still remember it a decade and a half later.

Another friend of mine tried to get me a screenwriting gig recently, and while it didn't go the way I hoped, it wasn't a flat-out rejection. And yet, I haven't called that producer back to see if he might have more hoops I could jump through.

The reason? What if he tells me I'm not worthy of his hoops?

So I just don't call. Regardless of the fact that the guy is so busy he pretty much CAN'T call people who don't call him first, reminding him that they exist.

I am a worm.

No, I am lower than the worm. I am . . .

I am the worm's shadow.

Rish Outf--

Wait, I think I can call that guy. Nothing will come of it, but I might as well put my phone to good use and TRY. As Gretzy used to say, "You miss every shot you don't take."


*I don't know about you, but I can ALWAYS find areas to improve the story, or a word that just doesn't fit, or a sentence that could be reworked. I could do that forever, and never consider anything finished.

1 comment:

Abbie said...

Aw, cheer up.

One place rejected it? ONE?? Every story I have ever had excepted was rejected by multiple venues first (usually about a dozen). The only story that was ever accepted by the first place I sent it was rejected by half a dozen others (all "lesser" markets) while I was waiting to hear back from the first place. The places I think most suited for my work almost never are.

Go to Duotrope, do a search for your specs, and start down the list.