September 29, 2022 - 9:07 pm.
For several days, I waited for emails from magazines only to find some rejection letters for my short story. I recorded a mini-therapy-video on Instagram, only to delete it later on in the evening out of sheer embarrassment and fear about haters laughing at me (again). The shame was overwhelming because of the Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder and Depression; but I am okay now, that I am writing this journal entry late in the evening.
Neil Gaiman told his students, "You learn more from finishing a failure, than starting something great and stopping it." I understood what that meant, but this evening, I felt what that meant. I felt the sense of accomplishment of finishing a failure and realizing that "I can start again," and this time, it might be the next greatest thing! (or it might not, but the point was...finish it. Honor myself). It might not be Van Gogh, and it might still be Blake, 7, drawing Batman, but to someone out there, it will be an artistic work of creative art.
The truth was, I was being a shitty narcissist by applying for a position to be a contributor to all these magazines, when deep down, I knew it wasn't my best work. I was confident with my novel and it was rejected, and I was confident with my short stories, and it was rejected. I wanted to boast and show off my skills, and I was rejected. I had the wrong motive. I needed to focus on my voice, the message and the truth. I also needed more practice. I needed more development of my craft, as I held on to my incontinence (being 47 and feeling late and old), and holding on to all the -ence, that came with biology. I needed to toughen up and practice, until I have rejection emails as my shell that nothing but Hurricane Ian would compete.
Probably, all writers were born crazy, but I loved this bold crazy and I started to love my own guts and failures. It wasn't a failure at killing an animal or a man, instead, it was a failure on a long prose of fiction. It was a nice beginning, and I needed to continue the crazies to get on. Not crazy in reality, but go crazy in a literary term. Do show, not show off. Do start a magnificent story, but don't get upset if it's a failure. I realized I needed to keep going and to never cease writing, and to stop being lazy when I came home from work and hungry. I needed to stop drinking coffee too late, because I needed to wake up early and start the engine to the turbine that was my creative neurosis. I needed the wake up call and I needed to start now.
May I have thicker skin, tougher soul, brilliant mind, and peaceful spirit. I finished a failure, and the rejection made me realize something. This was just the beginning and I MUST KEEP GOING.