Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG: Not all rejection is the same.


It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group post. Check out the link! Alex J.Cavanaugh's IWSG!


I've been posting to another author's social media site advice on handling rejection. You have to go through the hell of being on the receiving end of rejection to build up a tolerance. 

It's like building a tolerance to alcohol. After awhile, it takes a lot to get you down. An actor doesn't get nervous before going on stage because he/she's onstage every night.

But not all rejection is equal...

Four years ago I applied to a few MFA programs in the Bay Area and was rejected. I took it really hard. Looking back it was probably for the best. I submitted a pretty mediocre autobiographical statement, and my writing sample was not great.

I just finished submitting my three applications for Fall 2015 and I've been reticent to tell anyone in case I get rejected. I, the one who instructs people to embrace critique and rejection, am insecure of being rejected. 

Even though art is subjective, the judgement feels more weighted coming from the academic arena.

A beautiful writer I co-hosted at Books Inc., Nayomi Munaweera said, "As a writer in your mind you're either the best or the worst. We quickly rise to grandiosity and fall smack down to self loathing."

I'm on the downward swing as I bite my nails waiting for my letters to come in. Everything I write I hate. Any suggestions on how to snap out of it?

Cheers! You guys are great.




12 comments:

  1. All rejection is different. Some can sting more than others, and some can actually be good.

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    1. True. Critiques have helped me refine my voice as a writer. Getting rejected by grad schools will not help me though. My "safety school" suggested I apply for a teaching fellowship. I hope that's a good sign.
      Cheers Chrys!

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  2. UGH. The waiting is the worst. I wish I had good advice about surviving the wait, but...there's not much you can do :( I say try to focus on the rest of your life, and enjoy it, and distract yourself as much as possible. Good luck!!!

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    1. Thanks Liz. When I'm not working I try to stay in motion with exercise. Hopefully I'll hear back soon so I can actually get some writing done. Cheers!

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  3. Waiting is the worst. Will it be good news? Will it be bad? And which would be worse. And... What if they're right and I am not worth anything? (For me, at least, the thread is in my mind. Even though I know it's wrong.) Best wishes for GOOD news!

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    1. Our mind loop sounds similar. Thank you for the well wishing. Sending voodoo vibes out to the powers that be. Ha!

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  4. When I'm anxious about something, I like to watch a favorite comedy movie to distract myself with laughter. Something ridiculous like "Blues Brother 2000" or "Six Days and Seven Nights" or "Galaxy Quest." Laughing hard helps a lot of situations!

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    1. I heart *Blues Brothers*! Downloading it when I get home. I'll rotate movies with the smut I'm reading.
      I'm reading *Tampa* and while its disturbing, it's also very well written.

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  5. This is my 3rd time trying to comment! (Dumb phone)
    Personally, I try to stick with: it's done, worrying does not change the outcome. If it does turn out to not go in your favor, use it as a learning experience. What could you have done better or more of? Also, rejection from a grad program doesn't necessarily mean that you are not good. It may just be that you don't have as much experience as your competition. Either way, figure out what you can change/improve on and do it. Anything you can't do anything about, just try to let it go.

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  6. Ha! I've been trying to forget I even applied to focus on other projects. Sound advice. That, and I'm about to have a Lynch, "TwinPeaks" and "Eraser Head" movie party.

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  7. Listen Blondie.... write a better version of 50 shades of grey. Guarantee yourself 200,000,000 in sales and then you can take your sweet little time.

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