Sunday, April 15, 2012

The deal fell though

I wrote about a technical writing gig that offered the opportunity to have a second job that I could do from my arm chair. It didn't materialize. The editor said I was a strong candidate for the position, but they selected another writer. Rejection is part and parcel of writing, and I've had ample experience with it.

There was a time this would have bother me immensely and I would have been depressed for a while. Since the Great Writing Fiasco of 2010, however, I've learned to deal with it. The GWF involved over a month of interviews and writing that was subsequently rejected by the editor. I had high hopes for that project. When it collapsed, I was upset.

When an editor makes me look good, it's a wonderful experience. Some others, though, have a special place set aside in Hell for their capriciousness, arrogance, and just plain stupidity.

But no one wants to listen to me kvetch about editors. Instead, I want to share this slightly edited email that went out to some friends. It's a thank-you note that applies equally to readers here on CycleDog. It's been a long project that's changed me in many ways, making me a better writer, and giving me the confidence to try other venues. This is my thanks to all of you:

It's just after work as I write this. I've had a couple of busy, stressful weeks both at work and at home. You're undoubtedly aware of the situation a AA, so I won't go into that. The units I work on have slowed to a trickle, and I hate that. It's better to be busy.

But I've been working toward earning more through writing, and that's occupied much of my spare time recently. I applied for a position with (redacted) back in January. One month ago, I was accepted into their evaluation program. The short version of the story is that I was not selected for the position, though according to the editor I was a strong candidate. It was a tech writing job for electronics, maybe not the most creative writing, but it's steady and pays well.

Naturally, I'm a little down at losing out on this opportunity, but surprisingly, it's not particularly depressing. Brian told me long ago that if we expect to write for public consumption, we have to develop thick skins, and lately mine has been getting much, much thicker. That's a polite way of saying I've learned to deal with rejection. I really enjoy editors who make me look good (like Susan) and I get annoyed with those who are merely arbitrary, capricious, and worst of all - ignorant of the subject at hand...

Those are the negatives. All of you are the positives. You encouraged me at times and gave advice when I needed it. Honestly, without you I would never have found the self confidence to attempt writing for (redacted). The rejection is merely a set back, and a minor one at that. Make no mistake, self confidence is absolutely essential for a writer. and despite my carefree man-about-town exterior, I've truly been lacking in that department. Maybe it's the other side of having a thick skin.

Anyway, I want to thank all of you. There will be other opportunities, and I want you to know each of you is responsible for helping me toward that goal.


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