For my followup, I guess I’ll have to vent a spleen.
This one might be a bit abstract. I guess it either works or it doesn’t.
It’s true that I know I don’t completely suck due to the fact that I sometimes get personalized rejection letters, and sometimes agents or publishers write me back once or twice before ignoring me, and every once in a while someone actually enjoys my fiction enough to pay for it. It’s sort of like being in the top 1% in a field where only the top .01% really succeed.
I really wanted to do a funny 1-panel comic tonight, but my ideas were either not funny or not 1-panel. My brain was in the mundane sphere due to the fact that I remembered, just as I was about to start working on my project, that my car registration needed to be renewed, and that if I didn’t go down to the DMV and get my emissions tested right that very minute, there was an extremely strong chance that I would soon be driving around with expired tags. That ate up about an hour of my life, after which I needed to do other mundane things like acquire food.
Passing emissions also reminded me that Honda had recently sent a notice that all my airbags were being recalled because they had been suddenly proven to be deadly projectile weapons that would just as soon shoot bits of metal into your chest as to save your life. But at that point I really didn’t have time to deal with the situation. So it’s entirely possible that my car is going to kill me, but at least I can prove to the government that it’s not spewing too much poison into the air.
Jack also collects life experiences, but he can’t sell those. Not in this market, anyway.
Almost 1000 people clicked on Friday’s PTSD comic; of course my best reception would be for the worst things that have ever happened to me. I’m thrilled that it resonated with so many people, but it also re-traumatized me to write it. I thought maybe today’s comic could be a little bit more upbeat. Just a little
Jack is not the only person who frames his quest for acceptance by asking to be rejected. There’s some science there about giving yourself permission to fail in order to work your way into succeeding. There’s strong research on this, and yet it’s still kind of a hard concept to embrace.
Personally, I’m terrible at dealing with rejection. I have too many negative childhood memories of being rejected. Asking for more rejection when I’ve finally gotten to a point where it doesn’t happen otherwise feels dangerous.My collection of “Thanks but no thanks” letter from publishers is substantially smaller than Jack’s and so is my “works published” list. Jack is a good inspiration, but it’s hard to keep up with him sometimes. Still, that’s what it takes, sometimes: a relentless pursuit of ones goals.
In addition to a massive collection of rejection letters and a substantial list of published stories, Jack also owns an old card catalog, or at least he’s the custodian of this unwieldy but awesome piece of furniture, for which I also envy him.
If there’s not a spec fic magazine called Unusual Anecdotes, there should be.