I do not like writing about rejection, but it is something that unfortunately happens in the publishing world, although in a perfect world, I wish for better. Rejection is canny as it feels the same no matter who you are talking to. It always feels one-sided, because one party is doing the rejecting. The person being rejected can really feel its sting. But, strangely, as odd as it seems, rejections in the publishing world have a positive side. Who would have thought that?
Rejection makes writers know which publishers they do not belong to. The publisher sees you as unsuitable—which must be a good thing as you can tick that part of the world off on your travels. Been there, done that. Though when the writer gets acceptances, they find a place in the publishing world. I came, I saw, I conquered, in other words. I found a place to belong. Rejections and acceptances work out to decide who is where on the publishing map.
But it’s not only the publisher doing the rejection. The writer can reject the publisher as well. In the end, we all know here we stand on the publishing map. Writers have a place in or outside that world.
There are those strong souls who keep their joy of writing and can still write about things they would rather not write. I do not know if I would have written anything if it were not for the joy of writing when I first put pen to paper in a meaningful way. I reckon that when someone experiences the joy of writing for the first time is how all other writing begins. At least, that is how I feel.
Unfortunately, joy may not last. When I first played cricket, there was the joy of cricket for the sake of cricket, but then comes performing which may produce pain if one isn’t performing well enough. It can be the same in writing. One’s joy may not last.
Yet pain in writing can be useful. The initial joy in writing is really baby-like and temporal, but there is a time for the pain of learning about what we need to improve on. We go to school. In doing our homework, pain comes at night, but once we master something, there is joy in the morning. One moves on from the initial, euphoric child-like joy of writing to the satisfaction of mastering something.
I always intend on doing a good if not great job, something that I can be proud of, or at least somewhat proud of by my standards. Something that comes out in the wash is not good enough for me, but something that is given a thorough treatment comes out better for ware. I don’t like to be so conscientious, as if conscientious is uncool, but I follow my instinct to add layers of polish. Isn’t this what writers are told to do? Yet I learnt this through experience.
At school, I was commended for being able to focus on my studies in the reality of a noisy classroom. But I think my teacher was really saying he was finding the modern-day classroom extremely challenging! His words were not as kind when I failed to impress on a matter of local history. Yet focusing makes me persevere on a project or task. Just carry through with the project until complete—no matter the environment. And so up to the present time, I try to get the job done with where ever my writing life leads me.
Eventually a writer has stop writing off their head and realize something: how will I present myself? Personally, I can write without thinking too much and not concentrate on presentation, the pieces come out sounding good, but these may be “experimental” works or pieces in retrospect. Better still, is to settle on a presentation that suits me best. I can learn from other people’s presentations in any genre, but the trick is to know which is more like me. When it clicks, I know it. And suitable inspiration can come in unusual and unexpected places. More on this later.