Rejection is one of the themes of a writer’s life I suppose, although I haven’t talked to every writer, I suppose there are the exceptions. Is there a 100 per-cent acceptance rate, anybody?
A rejection occurs when someone submits their story, poem, article, etc, to a publisher, by post, email, or through an online portal, and days, weeks, or months later, the response is a rejection of the work. In the last week, I have had such a response, dare I admit. It does not hurt as much as it used to—when I was submitting to the literary journals.
I was a little surprised to be honest. I thought my devotion, for a church publication, should have been chosen. Should I keep on trying? After several rejections from the same publisher? And I have had TWO, a big two acceptances, from this publisher, which should be incentive enough.
For me, it has come down to motive and desire.
Is my motive running down, running out?
My motive at the start, about three years ago, was simply to write something that will get published. I have achieved that. My devotion had a compelling angle, I thought, and the piece was accepted. I had succeeded. But I wanted more.
My motive then was to try even harder to get another and another published. Did not work. Not that I am entirely trying to do this for myself. I have a higher ‘vision’ in mind, but it seems my more human motive, to get published with this publisher, is losing its mojo.
I’ve kept on trying for more, but it is becoming more of a pot-luck kind of thing now. A gamble. Even if the inspiration grabs me, even then, there seems no light at the end of the tunnel. However, and a big however, I did achieve what I set out to do and that was to get published there and I got in on my first attempt.
One may move on. Even when digging back into previous written devotions to find something I could use for them, the feeling came that it wouldn’t be good enough, there was just something not quite right with it. I do not know for sure, but suffering another embarrassing rejection? I feel, no more.
The wise word, though, is to remember it is hard enough to even get in. You’ve done well to get in anyhow.
With that settled, the question remains of one’s agreement with the church’s ideology, ethos, and does this matter to me. Yes, I must say, it does, at this stage of my writing career. Is this being too sensitive? A cop-out to trying again? No. It is acting on conviction.
Some may call conviction dangerous in today’s world—sometimes a politician (not that I am a politician, but I am making a point) acts on conviction and there can be negative consequences and a backlash. However, I can, in a position of control of myself as a writer, act on my conviction.
Ambition to get published was a cause — it was for me at the beginning — but after this and that is said and done, and my eyes were opened to some of the realities and beliefs of the church that’s been publishing my stuff, belief and conviction can become paramount. At that point, as a humble writer I do not want to sell it short.
Real desire of a person (I am not meaning the desire of a character a writer dreams up) does have a strong influence on what a writer does with a publisher. Yet there may be other things along the road as well. They make the desire not as clear cut and complex. What if I got accepted more than I did? Would that have made a difference to writing for them again?
Even though a solid conviction can always be present in a person’s heart, circumstances and changes can pull the writer more towards conviction. Does one still write when getting published despite the publisher’s or church’s ethos? To be honest, I must say that getting rejected did have a strong influence on siding more with my conviction. Maybe that is the heaven’s way of telling me something and moving me away and along.