So I took a hit last night. I say it’s no big deal but then I remember, I lie, all of the time. (No, I’m lying, I don’t lie.)
I really had my hopes up for signing with this one literary agency in LA and I got close and close and then last night when I came down the stairs and faced the mess of peas and tomato sauce all over the kitchen floor I got the phone call, it is a pass.
Sometimes I think it might be easier if people told me I suck and all of these horrible things right off the bat. Then I could deal with things the irrational way. I could scream and cry and say things like “SCREW THEM!” I could turn it around in my mind and pin it on them, like, obviously I don’t suck, so they must be the ones with the problem.
But that never happens with me…
I usually get my foot in the door.
I always get glowing reviews.
I get told how great I am.
How good my writing is.
My voice. I hear such wonderful praise about the strength of my voice.
(And there’s always a but.)
This time the but came in the form of a man who said no in a needed unanimous vote. Apparently he didn’t think my “Dear Babies” book was special enough. Apparently he said something like, “yeah but everybody thinks their kids are special…”
There are many things to think about this, one being that’s what you got out of these letters, that I think my kids are special? Oy.
But (and here’s my but): Why does everything have to be special?
Earlier this week there was a big news story about a high school english teacher who offered tough love to his students during a commencement address. It’s been dubbed the “you’re not special” speech since he told them just that, you’re not special.
I get his point and I agree, you have to make your life, you have to stand out in it, if you want to be special you have to actually do something to be special…
But, sometimes, isn’t something just good because it is? Look at American cheese, it sure as hell isn’t special, but when it comes thinly sliced wrapped in wax paper like that? It’s so good.
After years of observing my psychosis, should you guys still choose to pursue writing, here’s a tip: Writers need to be bad sleepers, good drinkers and have thick skin and/or a good recovery time to the point where you can handle so much rejection it’s almost masochistic. I fall into the latter of that criteria, I have incredible bounce-back time. I get hurt–deeply–for about seven minutes. Let me cry. Let me listen to at least three sad songs, from Bob Dylan to Pearl Jam to Celine Dion’s “All By Myself.” Let me eat cake with a fork from a box. Leave me alone. Then…
Look at me now, I’m already making jokes about myself, quoting “Clueless” saying I’m just a virgin who can’t drive…
This is how life goes, babies. You’ll think it sucks. It won’t make any sense. You’ll want things and you’ll go you for things–from a girl to a job to a house to a baby, whatever– and it may seem like there is always someone telling you no. Not now, kid. It’s not your time!
DAMMIT, you’ll say, right?
Have faith in this annoying checks and balances system the universe has going on. Have faith that when something is right it will fall into place…
Until then, you keep trying.
I’ll keep trying too.
I could say I’m back at my desk, pulling myself up by my bootstraps, but that brings to mind me wearing cowboy boots, which is not a good thing.
Instead I’ll go with Fred Astaire…
I’m putting’ on my top hat
Tyin’ up my white tie
Brushin’ off my tails…