Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's Not Personal

All writers get rejected. There are several publications that I have never, and perhaps will never crack. At least not while I'm writing Bo Fexler stories as I currently do. I have some theories, some that are more salve than based on any facts, since I know nothing about the rejections other than the ubiquitous 'not right for us.'

I don't mind. I wholly accept that what I write and how I write it will not be to everyone's liking. The fact that I *do* get published-- and sometimes even paid-- are signs to me that I'm doing something write.

It surprises me, then, when I encounter other writers who take rejection very personally.

It's as if they think everyone should eat coconut and wear capris-- (two things that I loathe with a passion matched only by my love of writing).

I admit, I used to take rejection personally. But it was always that plaintive cry-- that desperate longing to know what was I doing wrong. If it wasn't good enough, then it must be me. Sometimes it is me-- sometimes the story doesn't quite work.

Sometimes, though, it must be you. Not that you're wrong. You have every right to hate my story as much as I hate [Insert current bubble-gum pop star with pseudo-serious lyrics.] You're not wrong, and I'm not right. Just different.

The world already has too much homogeony in flavor, I think. Too many Wal-mart-attired people going to McDonald's for their grease-flavored meal. Too many people who watch the same shows because that's what everyone is talking about or that one book that's So GREAT! Too many sheeple.

So, anyway, if we think for ourselves and develop our own tastes, everyone will have slightly different flavors. I'm not a standard flavor. There are plenty of people who don't care for my acerbic commentary and cynicism towards the wasteland of thoughtlessness that pervades too many in American culture. That's fine. If I see your sunshine and rainbows, I'm going to play Emperor Palpatine with the Force Lightning.

A well written story can suck if it's not interesting to the reader. I read Lord of the Rings. The books were very well written. It took me over a year to slog through them. I just didn't get into the story. And it's me. My taste, my preferences that were the "problem."

I mean, some people don't like Star Wars. Okay, well, them I can't forgive. That's just wrong and we should exile them to someplace, like downtown Detroit.

But for everything else-- it's not you, it's not me. It's taste. It's us being different. Which means at least one of us doesn't require regular sheering... the jury's still out on you. ;-)

1 comment:

Cormac Brown said...

Taste is subjective and it seems even more so with editors...I'll leave it at that. The last time I said something about one editor, I almost alienated another who had and has been nothing but kind to me.