The Great Matter: Rejection

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” 
~Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rejection, they say, is the path to any success. Somewhere in the trial, a trail is dug so deep, honed to such a true and sharpened progression, that no great winter or man could tear it back again.

Yet there is an issue with the process.

Writing, it is known, is the field built upon this trail–that is to say, that rejection is a natural piece of its process. All will face rejection in one form or another before they find their “in-road,” be it to great or little success. in its way, it makes sense. Rejection teaches us endurance. It teaches us to weather the bad weather until truth will find us out.

The problem: how do we know?

Much as children are told: oh, you can be anything you want to be when you grow up, there is a certain lie hidden in the equation. As most can attest, not everyone can write–just as not everyone can do quantum physics or fly a plane. You wouldn’t want them to. God help you if you do. If our entire industry is based on rejection and the light at the end of the tunnel, however, then what if that light never seems to come? When do we know it is just another rejection on that trail to something more, or simply rejection of inferior work?

In our system, rejection is supposed to strengthen us. Harden our determination. But what if it shouldn’t be hardened? Are we bad writers or merely struggling writers–the question we all must ask.

A pickle, if ever there was one. Try, try again whisper the mouths of the successful. Edit and review, your English teacher lectures. Do as we do, boast the self-help brigades. Do anything else, announced the rest of the world with a shrug.

But passion won’t allow such desertion, and frustration is the end result. All men, after all, have their breaking point.

The simplest answer, I know, remains: never give up. But I know as well there is more to the wisdom, a greater and more profound explanation this young mind–known often to failure but little, as yet, to success–has not the words to lend it. So, blogosphere, if you’re out there and you’re reading, I turn this post to you in the form of a question: what is your advice to the writers of the world? Because I’m not so silly as to think I have the answers.

“In a world flagrant with the failures of civilization, what is there particularly immortal about our own?” 
~G.K. Chesterton

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2 thoughts on “The Great Matter: Rejection

  1. Questions abound. The answers are much harder to come by—the right answers, that is. We all get discourage, the trick is not to stay discouraged. The question that you pose: “Are we bad writers or merely struggling writers?” is a brilliant one. The answer to that one is elusive and will probably be a different one from anyone you ask. Writing is a struggle so I think we are all struggling writers, some just have more success than others. As long as we keep writing we have the opportunity to improve. It’s when we stop writing that we stagnate.

  2. Pingback: It’s All a Question of What the Answer is… | Andy's Words & Pictures

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