Monday, February 22, 2010

An Ode to Love

Loving happens in snatches. Kaleidoscopic fragments scattered all over like tiny reflecting glittering pieces of glass. With love accompanies the warm and fuzzy feeling of golden brown chocolate cake, fresh out of the oven. Loving means to throw that intense look of hatred towards your friend when she doesn't do your bidding. Loving means to be irritated with your daughter or hugging your partner at the end of a long day at work. Love is when groups of crows gather together to mourn the loss of a loved one. Love is to see your dog wagging its tail and showering unconditional love on you. Love means to have a long gchat talk with your sister. Loving means ridiculing your soul sister. Loving is to indulge your granddaughter. Loving is to admire your professor from a distance, wishing you could be half the human being that he is. Love means to see and feel and think as someone else does. And finally, loving is to be shocked, surprised and elated at streaks of generosity and kindness when it is least expected.  Loving means to know you'll never make it; but you are just happy with everything you've got. So much love ends in such happymaking!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My thoughts on article rejections

When it comes to crafting pitches to send out to different publications, I work hard to try and fathom the tone of the publication and whether what I have to offer will fit in with the theme of the magazine. However, when it comes to a rejection, I am hardly ever disappointed or cut up.**

So when Julie wrote this post, I commented saying that when I'm rejected by a publication, I try and read the publication more carefully, see what other writers have to say and think about what I can learn from them. I never spend time thinking that  x, y or z editor did not like my pitch  might mean I'm "not good enough". I take into account their criticisms (and try and incorporate that into my work if I think that the criticism is constructive) or if I really believe in the article, I pitch it to another publication.

After having neatly crafted a pitch, I send it off, archive it in my email and forget about it. Then I go about my business as usual and one fine morning, as I am sipping my wonderful cup of lemon tea, the editor replies informing me about her/ his decision. If rejected, I move on and if accepted, I feel this momentary triumph before I calm down and start working on the article. Here's why rejections don't perturb me :

1. I look at the bigger picture 

Some of my writer friends have often told me that they're amazed about my nonchalance with regards to rejection. After all that hard work, it must be absolutely irritating to have your work rejected, right? So why don't I feel sad/ upset/ angry/hurt or at least disappointed? I don't because I truly believe that if one has worked very hard on something, those skills and that knowledge and information will come to good use when one is least expecting it. Yep, I'm a big believer in destiny.

2. I "choose" my struggles

I don't get angry or upset because I simply can't afford to. I'm temperamentally not very calm and collected (in fact, I'm rather hot tempered) and I absolutely cannot have one more reason to lose my head. Time and energy are both finite- I'd rather use them in more positive, fulfilling ways. On a bad day, I curl up with a good book, let my bad mood pass and continue with whatever I am doing.  On (very rare) days when absolutely everything goes wrong and then I get the rejection slip, I feel pretty miffed. But that's really occasionally. On most days, I take it quite well.

3. It's not like I have to achieve everything in a couple of years as a writer

I have known people who have changed their careers in their late fifties and done fantastically. I'm in no hurry to succeed or fail. I like my life as it is and I'm absolutely ok with whatever happens. That's not to say that I'm not ambitious- I just know that if I keep trying my best, things will fall into place when they have to.

4. Rejections are often life-savers

Alyssa talked about how it's better to have an article rejected than have a bad article published. I couldn't agree with her more. I'd rather have my editor tear down an article than see my name in print (or online) and cringe.
**Unfortunately, this kind of rational thinking is only limited to article rejections and not other kinds of rejections**