Resolutions for 2013: Bring on the rejection letters
One of the aspects of Twitter I love more than any other social-networking site is its actual ability to connect you with people with whom you might otherwise not cross paths. (I also like that 140 characters limits the amount of proselytizing one can do at friends and strangers, unlike the volumes of messy, ego-driven text Facebook commenting allows for.) It was through Twitter that I decided I wasn't going to throw in the towel on resolutions this year -- because I was. I was ready and willing to say fuck it to a decade-plus tradition of resetting my life for the better and placing goals to the highest of standards.
If only all rejection letters came on fancy stationery like this.
Failing miserably at a lot of things I set out to do in 2012, I just wanted to sit back and be bratty and refuse to participate in my favorite pastime of creating unrealistic expectations for 2013. Then Suzi Q. Smith posted this on Twitter: "I am gonna submit this collection of poems to publishers until one of them says yes. I am going to write a new collection of poems." And my mind changed.
I, too, had been thinking about submitting my work -- fiction I've been working on for years and never even tried to get published in any capacity -- and still had yet to make it happen. But recently, I had this thought: I can't get published until I start getting rejected like crazy first. So I responded to Suzi's tweet with something along those lines, and as it turns out, many of our mutual Twitter writer and poet acquaintances were also interested in getting rejected.
This Post-It has been on my door for months -- along with a photo reminder to not be such an adult all the time.
This past weekend, the "Jerk Life Rejects Club" was born on Twitter. As a group resolution, we promised to get together several times throughout 2013 and share the rejection letters we receive for the work we've submitted to various publications. Ultimately, we all hope for an acceptance letter in there somewhere, of course, but the thought of sharing in our rejection seemed like a great way to motivate ourselves to try.
Of course, I've already started to daydream this scenario involving stranger-writers becoming the best of friends, toiling away at our dimly lit desks for months, only to meet up over coffee to share in a domino effect of publishing success. You never know: It could happen.
And while I usually make sure to set myself up with all sorts of unrealistic resolutions that I won't even get close to achieving -- like weight loss, dieting and traveling back in time to that one time when I was really skinny and tan -- the only other thing I've promised to do is be nice to myself. Because the way you treat others is a direct reflection of how you actually treat yourself, right?
I remember that when I read The Secret on my subway rides to and from work during my last days living in New York City, I became a nice-machine. I wanted to be nice to everyone on the planet -- even myself. And when your internal dialogue doesn't involve bashing yourself several hundred times a day for being imperfect, it can do the world outside of your body a lot of good.
I was going to make one final resolution -- to stop obsessing over Montgomery Clift so much. But then I thought, what fun is life if you can't live in complete denial over at least one aspect of it? (And by that I mean I'm still crossing my fingers that when I die and go to gay heaven, Montgomery Clift will be there waiting for me, and we can be best girl/gay friends for ever and ever. Elizabeth Taylor, get out of my way.)
But instead of banning my misconceived thoughts as part of a resolution, I think l'll write a fictional account of Monty's and my ghost-BFF status and submit it to as many magazines as possible to see how many rejection letters I can accrue for a delusional straight woman's account of her love affair with the spirit of a dead movie star.