Dealing with Rejection, Badly.

EverythingIsGoingToBeAlrightI have been rather busy the last couple of weeks, and many things have been pushed to the back burner, causing a bit of stress.

In an effort to pay it forward, The Sis and I agreed to allow a friend from out of town stay with us for a bit while he got back on his feet (my best friend and like-a-sister let us stay with her when we first returned to town). In a matter of weeks it has quickly become a source of contention, especially where the furkids are concerned. My girl doesn’t really seem to like him and hasn’t warmed up to him at all, so there’s a lot of noise, at all hours.

There’s more to be said on the subject, but we’ll leave it at that.

We had family in town, and amidst all that, I have been on the job hunt.  Regardless of the fact that I was applying to a lot of jobs that were actually looking for people, I never received a response from any of them.  Not one.  And I’m quite qualified for what I was applying for.  I applied for positions online that had questionnaires and psych evals upward of 120+ questions.  Ridiculous.  It’s a bartending job, not working for the government.  In a last ditch effort I walked into a local bar with my resume and they gave me a call the next day.  So yay.  I got a new job, but this is where it all starts to go wrong, so to speak.

The same day I got the job as a server by the way, not a bartender (because beggars can’t be choosers), I got my rejection letter from the Nicholl Fellowship.  My script was not advancing to the quarterfinals.  Although one of my scores was high, it wasn’t high enough to push it forward for a third read which would have given me a chance to proceed within the competition.

I took it hard.  I still sort of am.  Yes, I know about accepting rejection and moving on – I’m sure I’ve even discussed it here.  All writers face rejection, often many, many times.  It is the perseverance to continue that provides us the success we desire.  I know that.  Doesn’t make the rejection any easier to bear initially.Fall Seven, Stand Eight

I didn’t necessarily need to win one of the top five spots offered, but I wanted to advance enough to use that as leverage as I send out my script to agents, etc., and yes, the money would’ve been nice.  I try to be positive in this space, but sometimes I just need to vent and hope it helps alleviate the stress because my life is so far from where I want it to be. The combination of becoming a server again (at my age) and not feeling like my screenwriting career is going anywhere is really affecting me in general at the moment.

I just don’t ever feel like I’m getting ahead.

Now, I realize I haven’t hit the market with all the fervor I should have by now (I only just recently got my first script to a point I was happy with), so my feelings of inadequacies are completely unfounded, but they are there nonetheless.  I don’t want to think that I should perhaps choose a different life, become a “responsible adult” and take care of all those things I want to by settling – leave the creative life behind…

I want to be a writer.  Dammit, I am a writer.

The last two mornings I’ve had to stare at myself in the mirror and remind myself that rejection is a part of the so-called “game”, that this is just a bump in the road, a lesson to be learned, blah blah blah.  Even in the letter I received from The Academy, they tried to reassure the rejected by saying the following:

A lack of success here may not have any bearing on your reception in the marketplace where a sale is the ultimate measure of success. I’ll even venture a prediction: several non-advancing writers will become professional screenwriters in the near future.

That only mildly soothed the pang of rejection.

I have two more opportunities I’m waiting to hear back on, Final Draft’s Big Break and the NYWIFT Writer’s Lab, so here’s hoping for something positive.  Not to sound dramatic, but I almost need a little something, an external force to remind me I’m on the right path.

When I read the rejection letter, The Sis immediately responded with, “Your writing is really good.” and “Are there any words of encouragement I can offer?” Oddly, that almost made me feel as bad as the rejection itself.  She has been so supportive of my career choice, and we take care of each other.  This has been one of my driving desires to succeed, so I can help her achieve her own goals.

Ugh.  I’m not sure I feel any better yet, and she’ll read this in her inbox later this evening and offer me some more encouraging words, and I’ll probably feel a bit worse again, but thanks, Sis, in advance.  I know you’re trying to help. 😉  I know I’ll be determined to “show ’em” in a few days, but for now it is what it is.

How have you handled rejection, my fellow creatives?

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