Saturday, February 10, 2018

Reject rejection

Photo by Jessica Painter

You heard it right.
From the moment you're born you begin to experience rejection. Maybe you don't get fed when you want. Or maybe one of the 'rents doesn't pay enough attention to you. Then comes school and you get left out of the end-of-year prizes. Or the girl you've had your eye on forever doesn't want to exchange love notes (she likes your best friend). Then comes high school and you're home alone for the prom and the college you set your sights on has politely said, 'No thanks.' Then comes writing school and you get hammered in the workshops. So much so you start a fight with one woman and she goes storming out in tears. Now you're not only rejected, you're an asshole.

When I first started in the writing business, rejection was everything. You know, you had to paper your walls with rejection slips before you earned your first acceptance. And what a magical moment that was. And still is. But then came rejections from agents, from publishers, from bookstores even. The writer was competing with a whole bunch of other writers for a finite space on the physical bookshelf. Even after nailing a deal worth $250K there would be more rejection. Why? Because the writer was powerless. The writer's future was at the mercy of one or two people who could pull the plug at any moment.

But all that's changed. Now, in this golden era of writing and publishing, I no longer waste anymore time with rejection. Now, I know for certain, that one way or another (traditional, small/medium-sized press, or indie publishing), my new novel is going to be published. Nowadays, I don't need to rely on competing with the physical bookshelves since the digital shelf offers unlimited space, unlimited shelf life, unlimited opportunity to make a passive income that will be the gift that keeps on giving long after my headstone is planted into hallowed ground.

These days, I don't fear rejection. It no longer wastes my time, sucks me of my energy. These days, I reject rejection. And it frightens the men and women who used to say "No!" to their very core.

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