Rejected

Blogging allows us play at writer, editor and publisher. We can be as creative or as self-indulgent as we see fit.

Yes a piece published after a copy-editor has run their jaded if watchful eye over it may still be death by a thousand cuts, death by a thousand buts. But there is at least that approval even if it attracts negative criticism by readers, or far worse, ignored by them.

And that is the best of it.

Let us assume the more usual fate of your submitted piece…that it is not even acknowledged. Or it is but only in the form of a standard, cursory ‘We thank you for your time…’ (Never mind your blood, sweat and tears). And then perhaps you brace yourself and prepare to send to another editor – presumably your second, third, fourth, that is your lesser choices, and trying not to consider serial rejection and its effects on your will, on your spirit.

Or perhaps you took the plunge and sent out your piece, your latest work of art, your baby, to multiple journals. A half-dozen rejections easily salved if but on the seventh there is an acceptance – those others then are fools, what do they know, I always thought the journal who accepted me was a cut above the rest, understood real art better than its peers etc. But naturally you fail to factor that not even the seventh accepts you – that your rejection is multiple, compounded, beyond complete.

You were as brave as you were masochistic. But at least there is a line around it, you can grieve and fume and curse but then begrudgingly accept and move on. Perhaps even to another piece, if ever becoming a shadow of a shadow of a shadow of your former self and dreams. The rejection was at least mercifully swift in the same way the guillotine was.

Whereas with WordPress (and all other blogging platforms of course) the rejection is terminal but never-ending, the slowest of slow deaths?

Initially the published post goes unLiked and unCommented by your subscribers. The endlessly creative and frankly tangential tagging designed to lure new unsuspecting WordPress bloggers to your post piques the curiosity of a mere motley few. As for your multitude of social media sharing options with their mocking promise of viral fame …the counts remain resolutely zero for the likes of Facebook and Twitter and well LinkedIn – did you really think your decidedly non-business like prose-piece would end up on there?

But then there is the follow up in the days and weeks ahead. Those views that search engines bring your way, well Google. But that is but hope, the kind that always kills you…as each subsequent day of silence taunts you.

Like the proverbial poop in the wood that goes unseen and did it then happen, likewise your barely viewed WordPress post, does it really have existence? Published but unread – snublished?

And then the Internet Long Tail, another Fairy Tale, Ray Kinsella Field of Dreams, “of build it and they will come”…eventually.  Give it 10,000 years and your post will have its share of savour and appreciation…

And what do we do readers? Do we take up other jobs and tasks where at least we are noticed, appreciated and sometimes thanked?

Of course not. We forget about it as best we can and start the process all over again.

This time they will take notice we tell ourselves. As said, it is the hope that kills you.

Happy blogging!

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19 thoughts on “Rejected

  1. I posted a photo with commentary regarding the lack of responses I get on my posts – about how terribly painful it is.
    Why do we even bother to create? I once heard a quote that said, “Creativity is God’s gift to us, how we use it, is our gift to God.”
    I believe that art, in whatever form it takes, is a desperate form of communication. To have our creativity ignored, or worse, rejected, pains us at the “soul” level.

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    • If I may jump in… Maya, my way of thinking of it resonates with what you’ve said — and I’m a fan of that quote!

      While creating, I’m in a state of “Oneness” — nothing is lacking. After I have finished creating, there is a very strong urge to have it acknowledged, as you say. There’s really no distinction between the need for my self to be validated by others and the need to have my creation validated, because my creation is part of me — from the deepest part of me. And because I believe creativity is a spiritual act, there is no greater communion than to share at that level.

      So, what I can’t help but think is that there’s something out of balance. (The world is so out of balance that this is not a surprising conclusion.) In a state of balance, would our lives be so tormented, as it were, after the act of creation?

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  2. Sam, I’ve been getting email notices of your blogs and been meaning to come back and read sooner. So much distraction in my world. I came here tonight and you drew me in with you pathos! I enjoyed your post — AND I think you need a hug!

    Speaking as someone who has always wanted to write, but seldom has, and speaking as someone who could never separate the desire to write from the desire for recognition (but lately, I’m trying), I have to say: At least you’re writing! Writing is, in many ways, its own reward. I want to believe that.
    One of my best friends has a blog on Word Press. She puts a lot of thought and work into her blogs. They’re very good, very worthwhile, and I daresay, her experience is very similar to yours.

    I want to tell you it’s all going to work out and that you’ll soon achieve the success you desire — and perhaps you will. But all I know for sure is that you’re a good writer. I have only ever subscribed to five blogs, and yours is one of them! It’s just that there are so many people doing it, it’s hard to get noticed.

    As for your fiction, I don’t really have the experience to comment. I’m not familiar with what you’ve done.(Anything online?) I wonder if you’ve explored self-publishing. Whatever it was the 50 Shades of Grey author did….I believe it was in the realm of self-publishing. She sure struck a goldmine, didn’t she? Then again, as they say, sex sells. So she had an advantage in that regard.

    By the way, you and I had conversed about the best version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” I still don’t have an answer. All I know is that last time I saw my dad, we were playing the CD that I made for him that included the track recorded by Roy Hamilton… and darn if my mind didn’t wander, right around the time that track played. Maybe I missed out on a good opportunity to reassess the value of the rendition. Or maybe the fact that my mind wandered was indicative.
    I wonder if you’ve made any progress on that front.

    Sorry for being so long-winded.

    Best to you,

    Marina

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    • Thank you for your kind comments Marina and for the virtual hug!

      I do agree with you about writing being its own reward, an end in itself. And I will continue to write as it is what I enjoy doing the most. But I do think it is a relational activity too – writers need readers, and for some of them to be critics, both positive and negative – hopefully including some constructive!

      I agree too that it is a crowded space – as much because of the ease to publish. And that means that readers are ever more spoilt for choice and don’t always have time even if inclined to leave feedback either.

      No progress on ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – that particular quest goes on! There have been further comments and suggestions to the post but none which persuaded me.

      Best to you also and thanks again for your encouraging words.

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  3. Sam, I really like this post. I think a lot of people read posts and lurk. Lurkers, I call them. I think this doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like what they read. This is what I tell myself 🙂 Keep writing. And, I’d like to read your fiction. Thanks for reading mine.

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  4. UGH didn’t mean to hit comment. It was like carriage-return on an old typewriter.

    What I wanted to say is it was interesting! I do remember sending off a few things by post & they’d want you to include a stamped self-addressed envelope & it was pretty much an “investment”, which is why I never really took to it!! Too hard! Writing on the PC & hitting ‘post’ is way more immediate – though the rejection can be immediate too, heh…

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    • Same with writing competitions too in respect of ‘investment’ with fee requirements, though granted higher prizes too. More money to be made in running such competitions than entering them I think. Perhaps I should try that – the Sam Flowers Blogging Literature Prize – £10,000 first prize but entry requirement of £250!

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