As I gaze into the dispassionate face of inevitability, how will I choose to be? Who will I choose to be?
Rejection is inevitable for any writer. Though you wouldn’t guess this from social media posts where triumphant acceptances are celebrated (and really, why would we broadcast our flops far and wide?). Still, ask even the most successful among us, and they will tell you rejection is inevitable. And it hurts. Sometimes it’s a sting, sometimes a gut punch.
I have said many times, often just to myself, my words are not me. I am not being rejected. That is true. But I do put a lot of myself into my writing (while not necessarily writing about me), and therefore I am putting myself out there when I submit work for possible publication. Or rejection. And have I mentioned that rejection sucks?
More than once, I have asked myself if it’s time to stop—stop writing, stop submitting, just stop—because the rejection hurts too much. Every time I sit myself down to seriously consider that question—Is it time to stop?—some new idea or next line dances through my head and I can’t keep myself from writing it down. The joy of the work itself has, at least so far, overcome the inevitable pain. I find myself in this work (even when I’m not writing about me).
What I found in this work today (aside from a fresh crop of rejections in my inbox, go figure…) was as much about inevitability in life as in writing. And let’s face it, some people do evade taxes, so you know what I’m talking about—the big D and I don’t mean Dallas (sorry to those not familiar with that country song, I just couldn’t resist). I am playing with words here, one of the things I love about writing, but I’m quite serious about the notion. Death is, indeed, inevitable.
Here, we are facing losing our little dog, Capi. We can’t say when, but we know her liver is diseased and could fail at any time. She, however, has not gotten the memo that she is not well. She continues to take us for walks, eat with gusto, and generally delight in life. If she can face the inevitable with such grace, perhaps I can too.
Why waste a minute grieving before I must? Why lose my love of words over an editor’s dismissal of some of mine? So, at least for today, I’ll stare inevitability down.
“Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste.”Bonnie Raitt, Nick of Time