Years ago when I was still a scripting newbie, I decided to enter a fairly well known screenplay writing contest. One of the perks of coughing up the $50 entry fee was receiving an evaluation of your script by a professional screenwriter, so I was pretty excited about that. I envisioned that even if I didn’t win, the person critiquing my story would tell me that it was hilarious, engaging, unique…and, with a few tweaks here and there, virtually Hollywood-ready.
A few months later, when the winners were announced (and none of them were me), I received my evaluation via email. I was nervous as I opened the document, but still eager to receive some encouragement from a pro. Instead, my eyes jumped immediately to these words:
“I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever did.”
So much for Hollywood-ready. Try dumpster-ready.
The rest of the review wasn’t much better, and it left me doubting not only my writing ability but my own judgment. Was I so delusional that what I thought was a solid story amounted to 120 pages of “nothing happening?”
So, after a brief stint of ignoring my writing in favor of a pity party, it was time to get over myself and get back to the page. Because the best way (for me, at least) to soothe the sting of rejection is to write past it. Leave it in the dust. One person’s “no thanks” isn’t the end of your writing life, nor proof that your talent is non-existent.
So, write on. And on. And on.
When have you had to write past rejection? How did you do it/handle it?