Justifiable Lack of Initiative
I have made a very successful career out of being rejected, and
I'm pretty proud of that. It's not been easy work either,
let me tell you. It takes real skill and talent to be told
by everyone from your best friend, to your gardener, that your shoe
possesses more talent than you do; that your work would be best
displayed on the tag of your underwear, rather than on public bookshelves.
But I press on. Why? Because I'm an idiot. And
I need new underwear.
If you've ever attempted to write, act or paint for a living,
then you know the heartbreak of rejection. And dandruff. I
just hate it when it flakes off on your collar.
Where was I? Oh yes, the heartbreak of being told "NO."
There's no doubt--ours is a strange and wonderful bidness,
accompanied by heights of ecstacy when we're successful, and depths
of bird shite when we're not. It's those times of ornothological
crap that I had trouble dealing with.
Until I figured out that I was going to be rejected more times
than I was going to be accepted, and I decided that being rejected
was something I could really get behind. It was an honourable way
of life that I wanted to support. I had finally found something
I was qualified for; something I had been training for my whole
life, and something I was really good at. Hell, my dad even
knew it. So that's what he meant each time he told me I'd
never amount to anything. He was preparing me, molding me
into the fantastic loser that you see before you now.
So. You've read thus far, and you're saying, "But
I'm not to that point yet. How can I get to the point where
I just don't care anymore what someone says about my work? Help
Well, that's okay, be patient. It takes intense preparation
to become this lax in your overachieving goals. Don't expect
to not care overnight. Give yourself some time to not give
a shit. I'll run down a few of the "must haves"
where being one of the most successfully rejected is key.
First, you must come from dysfunctional parents. The quickest
way to not believe in yourself, is to have some narcissistic, self-aggrandizing,
solipsistic bitch of a mother not care one whit about you. Learn
quickly that as your mother, she just cannot be held responsible
for your well-being.
Secondly, you must marry a dysfunctional partner. Again,
continue that circle of lack of support, or this plan will not work.
You must be relentless in your quest for rejection.
Thirdly, stop believing in yourself. And really, this comes
easily enough if you have the first two foundational truths in your
favour. Make self-absorbed whining a major part of your daily
life. Make use of that dysfunctional partner, and play upon
the selfish synergy being exchanged. You will be amazed at
how quickly you'll embrace rejection.
Fourth, stop writing so much. It's that constant pursuit
of perfection that ruins a perfectly good run of bad luck.
Fifth, begin reading idiotic, inspirational sayings daily, combined
with constant psychic visits. Nothing kills the desire to
over-achieve quicker than believing that it's the universe's job
to make it happen for you and that you're not responsible for the
hard work needed to accomplish something.
Well, you get the idea. These are a few of the biggest
qualifications, but don't be disheartened if you were unlucky enough
to come from a family that actually talked through a meal; from
a family where your mother and father asked if you really did go
to school that day, or even sent you to school. Don't give
up if fate saw fit to curse you with bountiful loads of self-esteem.
The good news is, ALL OF IT CAN BE REVERSED. You just
have to want it badly enough.
I do hope I've enlightened how easy it is to pursue, and even
fall in love with rejection. Now comes the hard part: waiting
by a phone that will never ring, and enjoying it. Watching
a mailbox that will never boil over with acceptance, and learning
to celebrate it. Never again will you blame yourself for your
lack of committment to your art.
So what are you going to do now? That's right, get out
there, shut off the computer, and watch some TV. Have a cookie
and enjoy your lack of initiative. Make the best of it, for
sooner or later, someone is going to actually like your stuff and
want to publish it, and then where will you be?