I’ve never been so disappointed in my life.
Let me start at the beginning.
So, I want to be a freelance writer, right? Which involves writing and submitting articles to real, breathing editors. Last month, I submitted an article to an editor–the big cheese, the head honcho editor–of an online mothering website.
The article was rejected.
So I thought nothing of posting the article elsewhere on the web–I sent it to a fellow mommy blogger for her newly launched website geared towards young moms. It’s a great site, and I’ve loved reading the inspirational stories from other young moms, so I was happy to see my story up and enjoy a little extra traffic to my blog as a result.
And then, last week, I received a completely out-of-the blue email from a different editor of the site–she is the string cheese to the big cheese editor. And with that email was a contract. With an offered payment of $150 for my article.
The article I thought had been rejected.
The article I had posted on another site.
The article that was now unpublishable because it had been “published” somewhere else.
After I picked myself off the office floor and stopped screaming in frustration, I pitched another article idea to her. She agreed to look at it and I sent it over.
A few hours ago, I got the reply:
So now, on top of the frustrating disappointment of the article that could have been, came the cherry of rejection. I’m sure that as a new writer facing rejection, I am acting like one of those women who think they are the first person to ever get pregnant, but still. I feel like I had a lot riding on this. I was so close. If I hadn’t posted that dang article on the other website, I would now be writing this as a real, published writer. I would have had a contract for $150 for an article that I wrote.
But most importantly, I would have had proof. Proof that I could actually do this. I want so badly to believe that I can change my life.
I don’t really know where to go from here. Theoretically, I know that every writer gets rejected; On the other hand, does every writer get a contract, only to watch it be snatched away before her very eyes?
The good news is, I was able to work out my frustrations with a run down the road. The rolling, tumultuous clouds bringing in an evening storm matched my mood and calmed my nerves. I saw a cute chipmunk, some wild flowers, waved to a neighbor. Realized that remarkably, through my disappointment, life goes on.
I want to believe that it’s all part of a journey–that each step is helping me, guiding me towards an ultimate path, the plan unfolding for my life. But it’s hard to think that way. Right now, all I see is a stupid mistake, an ironic twist of fate. I feel like we are so quick to name the good things in life as part of a plan, a gentle nudge from the heavenly higher-ups; But what about the small things that aren’t so great? The seconds that separated us from an accident–heavenly intervention. But for the person who came after us and crashed–were those seconds ordained for their death?
I just read this great book called “O me of little faith” that used the term “religious narcissism” to describe this idea. There are some people who are so quick to give God the credit for every small, little thing in their lives–the author used the example of a person whose flight is delayed and ends up talking to a person in the airport about her faith. Do we really think God would orchestrate an entire flight delay, inconveniencing hundreds of people, just for one person? Sometimes, don’t you think things just happen?
I was talking about my fears and frustrations with Ben tonight, and he reminded me that honestly, there is no such thing as a “small thing” with God. In fact, it can be downright insulting for me to think God can’t be a part of every small thing in my life–even my first rejected article. Surely a God who can create a universe can help me sort out something as simple as writing an article.
I don’t know the answer. I don’t want to go overboard, because honestly, there are so many awful things that happen out there. It’s hard for me to think that we can only credit God for those instances when things happen to benefit us, but wave away those instances and seemingly random events that can lead to sad, or even tragic occurrences.
Maybe my rejection is a part of a plan, maybe it’s not. But either way, I guess the only thing to do is pick myself up and try again.
And probably clean my office floor. Just in case.