Old Rejection Slips

I had intended spending the Easter holidays doing some Spring cleaning, as it was about as far away as I could get from my computer, networking, blogs, job hunts etc etc.  Instead, as the days greyed to a post-Winter cold snap, I didn’t do a thing.  Instead of relaxing in my time off work, enjoying my daughter’s company, doing holiday-type things (museums, walks in the park, shopping), I just slid further and further into a motionless kind of boredom, only stirring from it long enough to bite off someone’s head.  By the Friday after Easter, it had gotten so bad that I began to disconnect from myself and started wondering those most awful wonders of all:  who was I?  Yes, yes, on a spiritual level (she hastened to add), I know perfectly well what I am, it was just that disconnection one sometimes gets (or I get, at any rate) from humanity that leaves me feeling…well, disconnected.  Nothing interested me.  Life was flavourless.  I’d tried it all and lost control, lost sight of myself, turned myself into a chocolate-grubbing blob.  Eventually all this excruciating wondering, plus sleepless early mornings in knots about my execrable financial status, turned into Headache of the Year, cured only by Nurofen, knitting on the sofa and watching a pre-historic episode of Stargate SG1 on Sky 2, a channel best avoided,

On Saturday, I turned out the linen cupboard, rearranged shelves, cleaned, scrubbed, dusted, sorted, washed my filthy hands so often the skin came off, mopped, shook, coughed, wiped and – finally – when I should have been making dinner – started sorting out my crap CDs that I never listen to.

And then I found all the rejection slips.  Indeed, since this is a blog about writing and not my general state of mind (though they aren’t separate things), all the above has been leading up to this monumental discovery.  A dusty pile shoved behind the CD rack.  What possessed me to put them there?

And these were only the most recent ones.  I’ve thrown away handfuls of the things over the years.  So:  what do I do with them?  Is it bad luck to keep them?  Do they only drag you down, a terrible reminder of failure?  What purpose would they serve if I kept them?

These questions are academic now because I’ve since trashed them, but it’s something I’ve often wondered about (along with other seriously inconsequential things such as the drought that follows me across the globe).  Should I have kept them all to prove, when I’m rich and famous and published, that I’m not the rejected writer they seem to suggest?  Should I have wallpapered a wall with them?  Is there any point in making a point and what is the point anyway??


About susannahjbell

I am a writer of science fiction and other strange and surreal works. I mostly write novels and the occasional novelette. My published works include A Doorway into Ultra, the Fleet Quintet and the Exodus Sequence. I live in London in an attic flat but really want to live in a tree. I wanted to be an astrophysicist but would settle for an alien abduction. I write because I don’t know what to read.
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