Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For Sale: Thin Skin

Rejection is never fun.  Whether it's being picked last for lunchtime dodge ball or that boy who you thought liked you, but really doesn't... being told you're not good enough is no fun.  And whatever they tell you, just because something doesn't kill you, doesn't make it good for you. 

I had hoped that in December I would be able to share my joy with you all when I won my first ever writing competition, or in this case, a mentorship program with one Australia's peak writing bodies.

I had hoped to fast track my writing journey, to avoid the years of disheartening failures and rejections.  I had hoped that my unedited, uncontrolled and untrained writing would earn me a scholarship. I was obviously living in some fantasy land inhabited by talking rabbits and freakishly big headed gnomes.

You see, they're right to reject me.  But it still hurts.  But the thing is, it doesn't hurt as much as I thought it might.  I'm not crying into my pillow, nor have I drowned my sorrows in a generous glass of something fruity from the south island of New Zealand.  Instead, I'm hamming it up with you good people.

Before I embarked on this journey to become a writer one of my main concerns was that I take things very personally, hate confrontation and, let's be honest, just want to be liked.  None of these things hold me in particularly good stead to take on a career where the rejection rate is astronomical.

But my good friend Amanda, who actually is a writer and has given me the confidence to attempt this as a career (http://becomingafictionwriter.com/) told me that rejection is made a bit more palatable because it is rarely face to face, and usually comes via a letter, or in my case, a very polite but ultimately unhelpful email.

She was right.  I'm disappointed but not broken.  Chalk that one up to experience, and submit the work elsewhere.  Just because they didn't like it, doesn't mean the next publisher won't see its potential and send me a cheque for $10,000.

Well that's me for tonight, I have a prior engagement: my friend the talking rabbit has just poured me a glass of something yummy.


  1. There is a writer called Jane Green. She is very much in the chick lit/ womens fiction genre. She is one of the most successful authors in the US and has a section on her website about being a writer/rejection etc. I think it is called For Writers. If you google Jane Green her website comes up first I think...

  2. well, we are reading you! No cash prizes but generous eyes just the same.


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