Got my first taste of rejection yesterday. Nathan Bransford announced the six finalists for his Surprisingly Essential First Page Challenge.
Strain didn’t place. Then again 669 others didn’t, either. (In all honesty, if Strain was tied with any of the six, the errors I made in the submission would rightly remove me from contention.) Sure, I was bummed for minute – O.K. like more like ten; but then I opened a beer and got back to work. Truth be told, I was mildly surprised by the calmness of my reaction. I was not nearly as disheartened as I would have been as a younger man. And that’s the crux of it: I’m not young anymore. I’m hardened from on-the-street (better described as on-my-ass-at-a-desk-in-an-agency) experience. The past 12 years as a copywriter – especially my six years as a freelance writer – have thickened my skin to the abrasive space between my opinion and the reviewers.
I take comfort in the idea that now rejected, I’m that much closer to acceptance. Now, we’ll throw that manifestation into the water and see if it floats.