Rejection email arrived at 2.30 pm yesterday, exactly as it was promised, which is undoubtedly an improvement on a large number of previous submissions I’ve made. There’s stuff in my Submittable account from two years ago that organisations have failed to even answer or remove. It’s an exercise in torture that is made worse by the realisation you’re not quite there enough to be relevant or noticeable.
On the plus side, I can cycle through the stages of grief quite effectively:
- Shock and denial (I don’t believe it, it’s happened again, how many times etc)
- Guilt, added pain (did I polish enough, were my answers not smart or memorable)
- The anger ‘dialogue’ (this isn’t fair, I deserved that, why won’t someone notice me)
- Depression (fuck this I’m going running/weightlifting/walking)
- Realisation (this is how life works, stop judging yourself by others’ benchmarks)
- Reconstruction (tomorrow, we work harder and will LEARN FROM THIS)
- Hope/acceptance (what a brilliant sunrise, gonna be a good day to progress)
all happen in increasingly shorter amounts each time one of these submissions that matters takes place… which let’s face facts is EVERY SINGLE ONE.
If I didn’t feel everything, this would be a lot easier.
Today therefore we are exploring other avenues in terms of exposure and interest. They may come off, they may not. The key is to not close yourself off to alternatives and at least walk down every avenue once that potentially opens to you. You’ll know which ones are right over time anyway, it’s part of the ‘trust your gut’ portion of this exercise. It also helps having a good working knowledge of the environment you find yourself in.
In this respect I’m ahead of the game. Sure, being live and immediate really helps, but it is also about the business of building a presence and reinforcing that over time. Most people scrabble to do this after they hit the target and get recognition: I’m already here. All this stuff is created and is slowly being added to, a useful resource and testament to how slow and steady holds its own benefit.
There are two more submissions today, they’ll be my best work again. Whether I’m successful or not is out of my hands. That’s someone else’s decision to make and ultimately mine to accept: with each one a part of me is lost. It is replaced with an acceptance that this is the path I choose willingly to tread, and as such all that can be done is to hope that eventually, one day, we hit a target first time.