Oh, rejection. It’s hard to take. It’s hard to dish. I’ve had it both ways, and it’s not a pretty business on either side of the table. Whether in matters of love, job applications or literature, No hurts. Hell, it even hurts when you’re not that invested in the first place.
In permanent marker: No.
Yes, I’ve known it. I know what it can involve. Starting out, the slips and coffee-stained poems came back by return with an efficiency that bordered on the humorous but for the fact of…
Wine, expletives, tears. That I was risking quite a lot… And bystanders were concerned. For what?
And then, the clock on the wall, the tick, tick which is really, if you think about it, the sound of ice slowly forming in the heart: What the hell do I do now? And: Is it over?
Well, it’s no benchmark of quality per se, but if it is over, then the answer is: yes, it is over, for it was probably never on. The real deal will continue. In the face of bewilderment, of dissuasion, of poverty, of being utterly ignored, of great hurts. They want to fail better. We know this, since history can sometimes prove instructive. I should put it frankly. The real deal is randy for the muse – and yet it is more radical still. They suffer, hopelessly – somehow just sitting there, blocked and impotent – from a particularly unfortunate case of erotomania, even when being slapped in the face with a plaice.
Here, Charles Boyle, editor of CB Editions and acclaimed poet and fictioneer himself, talks a little about rejection in a good piece on his admirable blog, pointing out the many faces of No. And the fact that editors are human.