Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rejection is not pretty...

This isn't going to be another post about Breaking Dawn. Sometimes, I just need a pick-me-up and spewing venom about BD is very good for that.

Then again, at the moment, I might need a pick me up. I got rejected again last night. The thing is, it's for a story that I know is good. I don't like to toot my own horn and say I'm a good writer and that everything I write is good. It's not. I've written some real crap in my time. I still write real crap. Quite often, actually. But sometimes, when I write something, it just clicks. I've given it to a few people to read, people who aren't likely to tell me it's good if it sucks and I've had nothing but praise and good feedback on this story.

And yet....rejected again.

It's times like this that I hate being a writer. I've been rejected a lot now. I've heard quite a few stories about famous writers and how many times they were rejected. I know that. I get that. I admire that. But it doesn't take away from the fact that rejection sucks and that, at the moment, I am being rejected. I know that all this rejection will make a success seems sweeter because I had to earn it. I write novels, mostly. I've tried to get a couple of them to agents and publishers but I haven't had any luck. I'm unpublished so far and this makes agents and publishers nervous. I don't think many of them like new writers with no credits, it's too much of a gamble. So I took the short story route. It's not my favourite format because I like to sink my teeth into a story, to let the characters unfold at their own pace- short stories don't allow for that quite so much. But I can and do write short stories and I write them about whatever I want. I tend to like stories that are....stories. I like something to happen, not for it to be a five-page musing about how barren the landscape is. There are a lot of those landscape stories being published by the literary magazines. There are also lots of stories about bad parents, bad events, sad histories. I don't like to write about those. I like to make stuff up. There's nothing I like better than a good piece of fiction. I don't necessary like all of the genres; while I like a bit of Harry Potter or Raymond Feist type fantasy, I get awfully bored with too much spec fiction. I like a bit of well-written Chick-Lit but not the over-sexed, Bridget-Jones imitations that have flooded the market. I like a good vampire story but ever since Joss Whedon gave us "Buffy", everything else tends to pale in comparison.

But when it comes down to it, the writers I love most are the ones who have succeeded against the odds, writers who defy literature and actually entertain me. When i look at my favourites: J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King (especially in his earlier days) and Orson Scott Card, i realize that none of them writes about the landscape or waffles on about the beauty of an endless summer night. Instead, they tell me a story; they don't trip up over word choice and, because of it, I think they're better writers. Neil Gaiman particularly can be very poetic and lyrical but I don't think he actually tries, I think it just happens because of the nature of his storytelling.

And that's the kind of writer I want to be. I want to be the sort of writer who has fans who get irritated if I don't publish a new novel when they expect it. I don't want to win a Pulitzer prize. I just want people to enjoy my stuff.

So maybe I should lay off Breaking Dawn for a while. Because when it comes down to it, Stephanie Meyer is that kind of writer too. She has fans and WOW, does she have fans. I've met them. They terrify me. But at least she has them. And though I don't care for her storytelling nor her writing, I admire that she is where she is and, above all, she gets young people to read.

And she's not getting rejected. I am. And maybe it's wrong of me to pick on her so much when it could all be construed as sour grapes on my part. Maybe I am jealous that she has the success she has because I'm tired of being rejected. I know rejection is part of the uphill climb and that when I'm at the top looking down, it'll all seem so trivial but for now, every step I take is thwarted and I sometimes feel like turning around and going back to the bottom of the hill and finding something easier to do.

But the climb is kind of fun and the obstacles of rejection just make it a little more interesting, I suppose.

If only they didn't sting so much.

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