Friday, February 7, 2014

On Rejection, A Letter to the Void

So you didn't make the cut, did you?

The story has been going on for weeks and you're out there on the outside listening to them talk about this person and that, wishing that they'd talk about you and how wonderfully brilliant you are, yet you're doing nothing to earn it. 

Yes, I said earn it. 

Oh sure you can sit there in your dark room banging on the keyboard like a drunken monkey writing your childish screed, but what has that gotten you? Your name isn't mentioned in the same breath as the greats - and it damned well shouldn't be; you've done nothing to warrant that sort of praise.

Quit your belly aching and stop sitting on your ass daydreaming about how magnificent your ideas are and start putting them down on paper. Read over that first draft, wad it up, and start on a second draft. Hate your third draft and disappear in a bottle for six months, only to come out of your stupor with an abysmal forth draft that latter generations will write books about (saying, "This was the moment when we all should have known something was wrong"). Finally you'll consolidate your drafts into something publishable, and then you'll submit it. 

It's then that the letters and emails will pour in! 

You'll have nice ones where you can hear the secretary's velvet voice, "I'm sorry, sir, but at this time we have no interest in Big Butt Owlbears and the Men Who Love Them." Of course those little stabs to your heart will be followed with the real savages of the publishing world. Men who mince no words and who call the cops on you after reading your manuscript in the hopes that they'll find a few of the missing women from your neck of the woods in your basement. Oh, these bastards will rip your heart to shreds and piss on the remains. 

At that point you've given up any hope of being published by others and you shove it on the unsuspecting public through your blog. Ho, ho! You'll be safe there. 

You fool, you god-damned fool! 

You've gone from the frying pan and into the fire as now the real bastards come out from their hovels and shacks to savage your work. They'll shit all over the words you've written and write reviews of your efforts, "Sure his work is impressive to the mindless masses, but here, where the real enthusiasts live, it's just a derivative piece of esoteric garbage produced by a substandard mind."

Ho, ho! You're in the conversation now! Now they're talking about you and writing articles about how myopic your ramblings are and they're telling each other that a blind, quadriplegic could have seen your failings and written a better novel. A forum is opened in your honor and the masses come there to lament the tragedy that was your birth!

You're reading all of it and taking every sling and arrow to heart. "You're absolutely right, it's crazy to imagine a world where unicorns and lepers can fall in love," you write one night in black spray paint under an overpass. So you give up on your dream and toss all your worldly possessions into a pile and watch them light up the night sky as you burn them in an alcohol induced rage.

You go to jail and they throw a party celebrating your fall from grace. "Let's see him write again while Tim the 600 pd gorilla pounds him in the ass!"

Only Tim's a nice guy and you two start up a long term relationship where the two of you eventually get married and on your release you move out someplace nice, where the two of you can be together and enjoy the sea. The years are passing you by and soon you find that your adopted son and his wife are going to be having a baby they want to name after you. Terror grips your heart as you remember what those sons of bitches used to say about you online, so you google yourself and pray that you can't find it anymore.

And there it is, that old forum. "Surely they've forgotten about me" you whisper as you click on the first post. They're still talking about you only now they're talking about how revolutionary Big Butt Owlbears and the Men Who Love Them was and how they wish you had written another novel. You're sitting there crying when suddenly it hits you, you're one of the greats.

By god, you've earned.


  1. You know, at the end of this I moused over the underlined "Big Butt Owlbears and the Men Who Love Them" in some vague hope it was link.

    1. Maybe one day. Clearly not today, but maybe one day . . .

    2. I like owl butts, and I cannot lie
      You other monsters can't deny
      When an owlbear flaps up
      With a little bitty beak
      And a round thing ripe with fluff
      I roll d6, wanna pull out your sword . . .

      no, I just can't go on.

    3. You say that, Douglas, but we both know where that next line was going. ;)

      See that emoticon? That's a dirty, perverted wink for you! . . . 'Cause it's, you know what, I'm just going to stop there.


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