By Kim Nunley
Perhaps I should only post positive developments in my writing career in an attempt to present myself as an extremely successful writer, but anyone who dedicates themselves to any creative form knows that being an artist involves receiving a whole lot of rejection.
The latest for me comes from the Austin Film Festival (AFF) Screenwriting Contest, where I submitted my feature script, QUEEN TO BE. Last year the same script made it to the Second Round of the contest, meaning it was considered to be amongst the top 10% of entries. Earlier this year, I did a massive rewrite on the project and resubmitted, imaging myself taking that home that typewriter trophy that AFF gives to the winner in each category at their festival in October.
Thursday I received the rejection letter (On a side note, I LOVE that AFF personally notifies each entrant prior to them publishing results on their site), notifying me that QUEEN TO BE hadn’t advanced in this year’s contest. After violently tossing the letter around and getting a little teary-eyed, I’ve since blown it off. Instead, I turned my focus onto the opportunities that I currently have in my lap and what I need to do next.
If you haven’t read Stephen King’s ON WRITING, I can’t recommend it enough. In it, he explains how he would hang each rejection letter he received on a nail near his desk. Before he “made it,” his nail would no longer hold the volume of letters he received, and he had to replace it with a spike. I think his persistence paid off.
Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. – Stephen King