An Episode of (writing) Failure

I like to be honest on this blog. No reason to be otherwise.

I don’t like to be pretentious, though any foray into self-advertising seems to uncomfortably cling to the cliff leading into the valley of pretension.

Here’s the cold hard truth.

But sometimes writers fail to achieve their goals. Sometimes others deem their work as not so good. Sometimes a writer has to take it on the chin and move on.

Well, I just experienced one of those times where my writer’s ego was bruised because something happened that I did not anticipate.

I wrote a script for a local theatre competition and it wasn’t selected to be produced. Honestly, I was stunned. Not because I think I had any right of entry but because I easily got in last year and had a very good run at things. AND, more importantly, I felt like the script I wrote this year was my absolute best one ever. Yet it did not crack the top 20 of the festival. How could this be?

Well, I don’t know the criteria of inclusion and who picks what based on whatever. I have no knowledge of that. All I know is what I wrote in the script.

The script itself is, I believe, a beautiful and poignant piece about the Underground Railroad. That in itself might be the problem. A historical piece, perhaps, could seem dated to some. But I wrote it with such universal themes that it really could be applied in any situation – you think we still live in a world were there is exploitation? Oh yeah.

So here is what I learned through this incident. Nothing as a writer is a given. A writer has control over only one thing – putting the best word combination on a piece of paper. That’s it. After that, it’s in the realm of anything can happen or nothing can happen.

Now, this whole thing is not a complete loss. My musical submission was accepted and I had another script that was accepted in a different competition. So I’m batting 2 out of 3 this year which isn’t bad.

Plus, I will be producing this passed-over script for my show in November, so it will see the light of day. And it will be awesome, I have no doubt about that. It’s a powerful piece!

So in conclusion, I will remind myself to remember the writer’s creed (I just made this up.)

  • A rejection does not mean anything about the quality of your work.
  • A rejection will never stop me from writing.
  • A rejection should always be a check-up call to make sure you did your best as a writer to prepare. If you feel you did, then just chalk it up to the judges’ poor taste. 🙂

Failure is a necessary and important part of writing. And that’s a good thing because all writers will experience their share of it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s