They just weren’t ready for you yet

Last night I sent an article, I had written a while ago and just edited, to an online women’s magazine and got an email back just a few hours later to say it hadn’t been accepted. This is the same website that I applied to work for about a year ago and was not successful, but they encouraged me to submit articles on a freelance basis. It upset me that they were not taking it, and reminded me of all past creative rejections in the past (including their previous rejection) so I felt it even more strongly than if it was just a single incident. I may have cried a little, while listening to ‘You just haven’t earned it yet baby’ (the Kirsty MacColl version).

The article I wrote is not really in my usual tone of writing – it’s a bit more adapted for the tone I have seen their articles written in – way more cheesy  women’s magazine style than I generally write. That’s why I sent it to them. It’s frustrating when you see articles that you think are of a similar standard (or even not as good), and you think ‘if they take that, why won’t they take mine?!’

I recently went for an interview for a marketing job in a theatre and I didn’t get it – they said I was great but there were people with more specific experience. I wasn’t as bothered by this, as I knew only one person could get the job, and I know there wasn’t much I could do about it. But the writing rejection annoyed me because they publish lots of articles, rather than just a situation where there is one job available.

It’s the same doing stand-up – sometimes you see people doing gigs that you can’t get on that you don’t think are funnier than you. That’s the problem with writing and doing comedy. Applying for the same job over and over, and then comparing yourself to other people. Ah, high expectations followed by self-loathing.

I read something recently that said you should aim for 100 rejections a year because you will surely get accepted by some of them. I like this logic and plan to follow it more, for both writing and applying for gigs. I know I shouldn’t be so sensitive as well – J K Rowling received loads of rejections before Harry Potter was published!

Maybe I will also not try to change my writing to fit a specific style that I think someone wants, and just be myself more. Then if people hate my writing or my comedy at least I know they will be hating me for who I am.

I went to a life coaching class once and they taught us this mantra to console yourself when you are rejected from a job, or an opportunity, or a romantic partner – ‘They just weren’t ready for you yet’, and I have to try and remember this when I feel like I’m not good enough. Because if i keep going, there will be people who are ready for me. And I will be ready too.

Part Time Blogger

I love blogging. I love writing. But you may not know, because I haven’t written on this blog since October. I say it’s because sometimes I find it hard to think of topics to write about, but I do have ideas and even start writing about them, then abandon them because they’re not ‘good enough’ or ‘not the right style’ or ‘not relevant anymore’ or…I don’t know WHAT’S THE POINT OF ANYTHING?!

I posted on Facebook last week asking for friends to suggest topics they would like to see me write about and received a few ideas, but there was one comment which said ‘My advice is to work out why you want to write a blog in the first place’.

My immediate reaction was ‘That’s not what I asked for!’ The comment was from my ex-best friend, (we’re still friends, but no longer best friends), with whom I have a wonderful yet tumultuous relationship with. I used to write poetry a lot, but since I started doing stand-up I don’t write poems as often. Then she started writing poetry a lot and set up a blog with poems on it, and there has been a bit of ‘It’s my thing!’ ‘No it’s my thing!’ between us in the past, so I initially reacted in a less than positive way.

Perhaps I envied her dedication and self-discipline. She gets up early, walks for hours and writes on her blog almost daily. Just to give you an idea – I have to start my alarms an hour before I actually want to get out of bed, and I’ve used forks as knives in the past because I can’t be bothered to wash up.

I thought about the comment some more and I realised that tone doesn’t come across well on social media, and that she was probably only trying to help. I decided to write on my blog about why I blog.

So why do I want to write a blog?

1. Love

As I said at the beginning of the post, I enjoy writing a lot. From a young age, I was interested in creative writing. I found it the best way to express myself and I even won two story writing competitions at primary school. As I got older, I became obsessed with the English Language and good grammar in particular. Reading or writing something with no mistakes makes me feel warm and happy inside.

2. Career

I would love to do more writing for other websites, and work in marketing/social media/editorial, so this blog is a great way to show off my writing skills and write articles on my own terms. Being able to direct people to a blog that you write on regularly (from now on!) is invaluable.

3. The desire to make my voice heard

As with stand-up, blogging is a great way to communicate your feelings about the world and attempt to bring about positive change. I can write posts about feminism or social injustice/inequality, which are topics I feel strongly about.

4. Validation

Honestly, it makes me happy when I get a lot of hits on a blog post or when people tell me that they appreciated something I wrote or found it amusing. It’s like doing a gig where the audience laugh at my jokes, I feel like maybe I haven’t failed at life after all. For a bit.

What is stopping me and how can I overcome this?

1. Confidence 

The confidence to go for an idea I have even if I’m not sure it will be good, or people will agree with me, or anyone will want to read it. Some blog posts are better than others. Like this one is probably a ‘7 out of 10’ at the most, but I needed to write it for me, and I can’t use self-doubt as an excuse not to at least try and write something amazing.

2. Time

A common reason I use is that I don’t have enough time to write on my blog. But this isn’t true. You make time for things that are really important. If I can spare 45 minutes to watch an episode of Vampire Diaries, then I can write a blog post once a week. My writing career is way more important than a show basically made for teenage girls that makes me cry every episode, right?

To be continued…