Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Enjoy the word yes when it happens

Writers hear the word no far more often than they hear yes. It's not always easy to remember that the rejection is about the work, not about your personally. But you can drive yourself crazy if you take every rejection to heart. Far better to take that rejection to head. Think about your writing - could it have been better? Another polish to be found? More feedback needed?

I find the pain of rejection for any writing opportunity is in direct proportion to how much I wanted it. For example, I once did a try out for a range of TV novelisations [no, not Doctor Who - that I'd maim for], but didn't get the gig. Rejection? I shrugged, and moved on. I didn't care enough to care. Thank grud I didn't get the job, I doubt I would have enjoyed one second of it.

Other times rejections have been like a lump of red hot coal, burning a hole through my soul. They feel like crushing defeats, glimpsing your dream before having it snatched from your grasp. It was so close you could almost touch it - and then gone. I hate those kind of rejections, but that comes with the job. Trust me, passion is so much more compelling than bored indifference.

Two or three weeks back I got a call to say a story of the day pitch of mine for Doctors had been banked. It could be in the story bank a long time, there's no guarantee it'll ever get taken to a full commission. But it was another step forwards, and the first pitch I'd had banked in months. So that made my Monday - a yes after a plethora of no, a positive affirmation.

Fast forward to Friday of the same week, and I got an email headed More Good News. Another story of the day pitch I'd submitted was also now banked. Two in the space of four days, after months of work and rejections. That was a good week. Writers find it easy to dwell on rejections, to recall only the bad reviews. But you've got to enjoy the word yes when it happens. Onwards!


Anonymous said...

Always great to hear about positive stories like this that are about persistence paying off. Good work fella.

Janice Okoh said...

well done!

Jim Campbell said...

Unfeasibly pleased for you, Mr B. Congrats. :-)