thelizbrownshow

Posts Tagged ‘rejection’

Rejection Project Month 2 Report: Two ‘Nos’ and a Baby

In My Life and Shit, Project Rejection, Uncategorized on March 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm

rejected stamp

February was quite a month over at Rejection Central (my apartment). In the second month of my quest for a year filled with rejection, I’ve already DOUBLED my success rate. If you’re new on the scene, you can read about the 2016 Ultimate Rejection Project here

In January, I scored a piddly ONE rejection off the 15 submissions of articles, scripts, videos and pitches I sent out into the world. This month? I got TWO! But they weren’t just any two. This month, I hit the crown jewel of rejections. I got a “no” from the New York Times!!!

queen elizabeth (2)

She may be Queen of England, but I bet she never got rejected by the NEW YORK TIMES!

“But Liz,” you may be thinking. “Doesn’t pretty much EVERYONE get rejected by the New York Times?”

No dude. No, they don’t. To be IGNORED AND DELETED by the New York Times may be a commonplace occurrence, but to actually get rejected by them? It takes a lot of work. I submitted a super personal essay to the NYT’s parenting blog months ago. I got ignored. I sent it again. Ignored. Then I sent it a third time with a pushy note about how highly relevant it was and tying it to a popular hard news story. Then, I got back a heart-stopping, soul-inflating personal email back from the editor. She said “I’m thinking about this one.”

Ermagerd ermagerd erma-GERD!!!! It was a “maybe!!!!”I was up for consideration. By the fancy-pantsiest news source in the world. Cut to a full week of me dance-a-brating to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory everywhere I went.

lady gaga edge of glory

Aaaaaaaaaand then I got a “No.” It was a thoughtful “no” though. It was a “no” with an explanation and a pat on the back. “Keep writing,” she said.

Some very smart, fancy pants writers I know said I should consider it a huge accomplishment. And I do. I mean,…it’s not the accomplishment I WANTED, but I do have a crowning achievement for my Rejection Project just two months in. Plus, it inspired me to send my article to a slew of other places, which earned me ANOTHER very supportive rejection letter from an editor who said she’d love to use the story, but was quitting her job in a week so wouldn’t have a chance to feature it.

I made a commitment last month to attempt to double the amount of submissions that I made in an effort to up my rejection harvest, but one week into the month I got slightly sidetracked by giving birth….

liz with peanut

In case you were about to tell me “that’s no excuse Liz!” I want you to know that the night I came home from the hospital I DID attempt to submit my drama pilot in the Sundance Episodic Storytelling Lab competition, but there was this…like…BABY in the house? And he was like….CRYING and stuff, so at 11:56 PM, 3 minutes before the deadline, I had to accept that there was no way in Hell I was going to be able to pull a descriptive essay on the story arc of the entire first season of my imagined series out of my butt. Sorry Redford. You’ll have to wait until next year.

I did send out a slew of query letters for my novel on the last day of the month, and I don’t want to spoil next months post, but lemme just say things are looking good when it comes to me getting smacked down in March!

Advertisements

Rejection Project Month 1 Report: 2 Down, 48 to Go

In My Life and Shit, Project Rejection on January 31, 2016 at 8:21 pm

thumbs down

 

I’m going to have to start working a lot harder at getting rejected. I am way behind.

At the beginning of 2016, I set a goal to acquire no less than 50 rejection letters for my writing over the course of this year. See the post here

I estimated I’d have to make at least 100 submissions to successfully rake in my required number of rebuffs. It turns out that was DUMB.  Fifteen times this month I’ve submitted articles, pilot scripts, comedy videos, sketches and novel queries this month and eagerly awaited a flood of email smackdowns. I’ve received a paltry TWO rejection letters.

One of them was from a fairly impressive website that rejected an extremely personal article I’ve been trying to get published for months. It wasn’t a total blow-off. The editor suggested some rewrite notes with her rejection and said I could send it back to her later on. And I did. Still waiting for another rejection on that one.

The second one was special. For the past three and a half months I’ve been pitching sketches for an industry showcase through CBS. By the end of the pitch process, ALL of my sketches were rejected, but my clever co-writers decided to put together a showcase of the rejected sketches, so I submitted one. And?

Yeah. It got rejected. From the rejected sketch showcase.

reject do not use

It feels like that should count for extra credit, right? But I’m not cheating. I want 50 REAL straight up rejections. I know I can do this.

It’s true I’m due to have a baby in less than two weeks, but I’m not going to let the creation of human life interfere with my rejection goals. I’m going to need to pull in at 4-5 rejection letters a month for the rest of the year if I want to reach my quota which means at this rate I’m going to need to do at least 30 submissions a month–about one a day. Maybe two a day so I can take off that day I’m actually squeezing out a baby.

giving birth rachel

Bring it on February,….

2016: The Year of Rejection

In My Life and Shit, Project Rejection on January 3, 2016 at 1:17 pm

rejection no 1

2016 is going to be a painful year, and not just because I plan to squeeze a giant baby out of my delicate lady parts sometime around Valentine’s Day. The pain of giving birth is supposed to be, like, “difficult” and stuff, but I have something potentially more excruciating planned for my new year. I am making 2016 into my “Ultimate Year of Rejection.”

I’m a writer. I’ve actually made a living doing it for a few of the greatest years of my life, but it’s not exactly an easy life to sustain. Over the past few years, most of my writing has been unpaid, for spec projects that I hope will one day become things people actually read or see on TV. I’ve got a novel (it’s dark but funny), two pilots (dark, but funny), a handful of articles (yup…dark/funny…OK one of them is JUST dark), and a massive clusterfuck of pitches and proposals that swirl around my brain with the furious intensity of a drunken Tasmanian Devil.

And this is the year every single one of them gets rejected by the whole world.

I can be a pretty negative person, but not this year. This year I’m actually seeking out the thing that has crushed my fragile little artsy soul for so many years of my life: rejection. Fear of rejection has had me cowering like an ill-treated pound puppy for most of my life.

I run from it. I lament it. I wail and tantrum over my lack of success and tell myself every “no” is a confirmation that I am a talentless nobody who should give up and leave the art to the people who actually have something worth saying. But this year is going to be different. This year I will find success in my failure because I’m going to fearlessly seek it out.

I am setting a goal to acquire 50 official rejection letters for my writing this year—articles, scripts, pitches, proposals, agent queries, publishing house pleas and contest courtships.

rejected image 2

It’s not going to be as easy as it sounds. You might think that I could just find 50 places to submit my work and just wait for the negativity to roll on in, but I’ve learned something profoundly sad over the past few years. Rejection letters aren’t always so easy to come by. Most places I’ve sought to place my work don’t even have the common courtesy to tell me to go fuck myself. They just ignore what I’ve sent them and never respond at all. So, to get 50 real rejection letters I estimate I’ll have to send out my work to at least 100 places—probably a lot more.

Now, instead of dreading checking my email inbox to find out if my hopes of writing superstardom have once again been dashed for the umpteenth time, I can eagerly await the joyful resounding “No’s” of national magazines, novel agents, network fellowships and literary agents and collect them all in a pretty little binder that I can flip through whenever I need to feel a sense of accomplishment.

It’s going to be a great year.

Oh, and I’m going to have a baby.

cute baby