This week, I received rejection letters in my email for two short story submissions. I thought, Okay, back to the drawing board, people.
I could have used those competition winnings,for sure, but I learned early on in this business, you don’t cry over cryptic rejections. Trust and believe, those fiction pieces will be proofed and re-edited for submission in due time.
Get this: You can become better at your craft!
Those of us in the business of using our creative gifts, in hopes of making a sustainable living , understand this process. It takes time to create something great! Success will not be a walk in the park. But, every writer, poet, author, entrepreneur business owner and artist, can become a winner if they keep practicing their craft.
The late comedian Bernie Mac learned the lesson of rejection and practice the hard way. He started doing standup in various venues and really won over the crowd . When he got an offer to appear on stage with Arsenio Hall, at a famous comedy club, Bernie knew he had finally made it.
His wife remembers asking him if he was going to write his monologue for the gig, but Bernie reportedly told her that he didn’t have to write any jokes because they were all in his head.
Needless to say, Bernie Mac bombed. He was mortified and it took him four months to regain his confidence and get back to what he loved doing most.
This time the comedian came prepared. He took notes on some of the biggest names in comedy. He studied their movements, mannerisms, timed their improve; took note of their deliverance and zingers. When The Kings of Comedy came knocking, Bernie Mac answered and became a rising star in comedy, film and television.
A participant in the creative arts have to develop a thick skin and persist. Rejection comes with the territory and are mere stepping-stones to seeing that return on your investment. You have to keep going; take classes in your area of expertise and study the experts.
(Study the experts,creative; don’t try to emulate them. Be yourself)
I can’t guarantee continued practice will make your work perfect, but I do know you will become better at your craft.
Today’s quote sort of put things in perspective for me. I hope it brings a smile.
“Most of the writers I know work every day, in obscurity and close to poverty, trying to say one thing well and true. Day in, day out, they labor to find their voice, to learn their trade, to understand nuance and pace. And then, facing a sea of rejections, they hear about something like Barbara Bush’s dog getting a book deal.” — Timothy Egan