JN27: The beauty of rejections

 

Dear everyone,

There comes a moment in every aspiring writer’s life when all the planets align and all the pieces fall together and he’s been spit out of the whale and can finally proclaim, “I’m a real boy! A real boy!” and then break into a song. Wait, sorry, that’s actually a scene from Pinocchio. I need to stop falling asleep in front of the TV.

In the past month, I’ve received two rejections from publishers, the first ever in life. Angie, my literary agent, has been sending the manuscript off to a few publishing companies, and we have been waiting for the rejections to come back like random hummingbirds returning home after a long migration. And just like hummingbirds, the rejection notices are small, short, usually no more than three sentences, and piercing. And they’re beautiful: flittering multi-colored jewels of dream-crushing beauty.

But don’t worry. These rejection notices make me happy. Although they are not favorable, they are a sign of progress, of movement. Plus, these setbacks make the final victory all the more wondrous to savor. Today while grocery shopping, I saw cherries being sold for $2.99 a pound. Cherries! In the winter! I scoffed at them in disgust, and thought of all the poor misguided souls who would buy them in hopes of capturing their exquisite summer flavors. For a brief moment I thought of hiding in the baking aisle and when a sucker comes to pick up a bag of cherries, I’d jump out, grab him by the collar and yell “You insipid fool! Eating cherries in the winter is not the point! Have you no understanding of the joys of life?! It is anticipation that sweetens the fruit!”

I’ve told you before that when I have a kid, I’ll plant a cherry tree, and it will be symbol of all the paternal wisdom I will pass down to him. “Huy Jr.,” I would say as we sit on the front porch and sip lemonade, “soon we’ll have cherries for the first time. These cherries will be all the sweeter because they only ripen for two weeks each year. Imagine if you can get cherries year round, will they each be as sweet as the ones from this tree? Or if they are from another tree, one we didn’t plant, will they be as sweet?”

“Yeah, sure, Dad, whatever…” he would say affectionately.

“Of course not! When your father was younger, Huy Jr., he wrote a book that he tried to get published. Rejection after rejection letter came. But your father knew that eventually, one day, all his efforts will pay off, and the waiting will make it worth it. For you see, if he never received those rejections, he wouldn’t appreciate the final moment when things came together. And some day they will for me, son, some day they will. Do you understand?…Put down your Nintendo DS before I whoop you.”

So you see, my friends, rejections, like many things in life, have their purposes and are meant to be savored. And if anyone needs me, I’ll be underneath my desk, in the fetal position, savoring them.

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6 Responses to JN27: The beauty of rejections

  1. Mary says:

    Trust me, I know all about rejections…

  2. Thao from Seattle says:

    How does rejection show progress? I keep trying to reach out to Jessica Alba thru Facebook, myspace, emails, phone numbers, her private cabin in Montana… and yet I still get rejected? But you say this is progress… and that eventually I’ll get her in end… and she’ll be mine, all mine…mine,mine,mine?!
    Please elaborate how rejection equates to progress to success?
    Thanks
    Confused in Seattle, Thao

  3. Vivi says:

    Let’s revisit this strange idea of a blog site. It’s dragging me kicking throught the back door of the anonymous web, with your words and private musing as the lure.

    Ick. Ooee. Betrayal! Devil spawn!

    I reject the anonymous techno advantage of the void. Get ye off the blog purgatory. No wonder your work is being rejected, You Cheated Us, and You Cheated Yourself, by directing your writing muse to friends over the group email list. Your Inspiration: Other people reading your stuff, and since they loved you automatically seeing your brilliance. A given.

    But I’m familiar with the trick and the trap of a captive audience.

    Get your cojones in order and publish a real book without practicing on the web and through letters to friends. Hone your wit in the back cubby late at night, and feel it shine with a supernatural ego manica bliss, like all regualr writers do. Get it on without us to be your echo back feeding frenzy loop.

    You can do it. I can do it. It can be done.

    Abandon this dead end wasteland pat on the back path.

    Get into the cliffs and the jagged rocks below and fly.

    See? I have been going to the readings in the north end here and they are great. Edgy, witty, talented, brilliant. I’ve been reading in that high calibre shared energy. You might benefit from that kind of trial by talented fire.

    It would be fun.

    Too each his own, but take it to the edge and push off.

    Push off, I tell you.

    Vivi, ranting, as usual.

    • jaggednoodles says:

      Oh Vivi, I appreciate your concerns. But I have plenty of cojones! I’m submitting to publishers and getting rejections; how much more cojonage do I need?! Writers who submit their work to publishers have cojones of steel! Plus, I’m working on the next book, clawing away at the computer in darkness, full of angst and despair like any writer should.

  4. dkprinzing says:

    Hello Huy, Debra here – Jameelah’s aunt.
    I love your writing. Your voice is unique and unparalleled. Tell your agent to keep on keepin’ on and if she can’t make progress with your book proposal, then let’s see if my agent can do something with it.
    You are a good man, a brilliant writer and furthermore, extremely fortunate to have J in your life. I am thrilled that you are finally in the blogosphere – it will ensure you have more readers than ever before~
    Best wishes, and hugs to miss J.
    xoxo Debra
    http://www.shedstyle.com

  5. Chev says:

    Instead of talking about your cojones can we go back to cherries. Why limit cherries to one season? Next thing you know you’ll be telling me I can’t drink eggnog on the beach in July.

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