I’m a song writer and the other day I received a very nice rejection letter from a record label. And it actually excited me. Admittedly, a recording contract would have been a more preferable scenario, but I did realized two important things: 1) I actually made public something creative in which I spent a great deal of energy and 2) someone on the other end actually acknowledged my efforts – even though the songs that I sent would ‘not be a good fit for us right now’. It’s like that classic break-up line: “it’s not you, it’s me”. As if somehow that softens the blow.
So was it a waste of time and resources to send out a demo package, only to have it turned down? Not really. Now I know who not to send more demos to (at least for a year or two). Of greater significance is the fact that I have now taken myself out of the “ someday I’m gonna” column and put myself in the “at least I tried” column. And maybe the next column for me will be the “next best thing since sliced bread and the Beatles” column.
In fact, I really need to find some other labels to pester (it’s too bad stalking is not recognized as a good career move). So now I’m a bit more energized and my hopes are once again elevated to a completely un-realistic state – because I believe in my craft, and in a world dominated by Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift, this “50-something” guy is ready to take over!
Songs, books – they are much the same (one of them just has a few more words). They both present a good story in an engaging manner. A story that hopefully people will want to immerse themselves in over and over again. A story that may take years to get into the hands of the consumer. Sigh.
So, all you writers of fiction and non-fiction – get busy. Prepare your best proposal and get it out there. Move yourself straight to the “I did it” column and prepare yourself for any outcome. And start working on your signature for all the book signings coming your way, just in case.
And as the old time radio preachers would say: “keep those cards and letters coming folks!”