I just got a rejection letter over a screenplay that I wrote that I really love. I think the story is interesting and one of the strongest things I've ever written. Whenever I get a rejection I always lose my grip on those feelings though. It's like they become sand and just fall through my fingers, and all I'm left holding is a grain of what was once a good, solid, and upbeat attitude about my writing. It always happens the same too, every time, after all these years. I get the letter, and there's that moment of just taking it in, of just going, "Okay, this is just one opinion. It's okay. I'm okay." And then there's the backlash, the feeling that I'm writing garbage and always will.
I'm trying something new where I channel those feelings into my writing. I have tried a lot of ways to process rejection quickly and effectively. Tapping, meditation, running, long walks, I've tried it all. It's kind of shocking to me I've never before put it into writing though. I just tried it and I enjoyed it. It felt like something good came from it, and like I really let it go. I felt like an alchemist, taking the feelings and transmuting them from one state to another. I don't think I could do this every time, because I don't want to write a book where a character is systematically rejected. But as it feels right, I will do this again.
I hope you are finding your own ways to navigate the ups and down of following your dreams. It's never a straight road, but sometimes you gotta get knocked on your back to take a moment and look up at the stars. Speaking of which, the sun is setting, and I'm going to take a walk soon and admire the stars. I can't control much, but I can control what I do now. So now I'm going to walk and admire the night sky.
photo copyright Steve Evans
"I still got a lot of livin' to do."
- my friend's 92 year old grandmother
I keep thinking of these words she said, and feeling inspired by them. I'm sure you can imagine the simplicity of her life. She can't move much. She spends most of her time alone. But life is still precious to her. She still finds value and fulfillment in each moment, each breath. At some point she realized, to be alive is special, and she's not letting go of that feeling. When she got it and how she got it I can't say. It's one of the mysterious gifts of growing old.
"It's impossible," said pride.
"Its risky," said experience.
"Its pointless," said reason.
"Give it a try," whispered the heart.