It's a lot later in the day than I usually blog, and it's because I've been debating all day whether or not to say anything about this. It has been rejection central in Caitlin-land lately, and really, has been for a long time (although it has been super-concentrated of late) - everything from auditions to internships to colleges to queries and manuscripts to jobs.
We've all been through that. We all know what that's like, and we're told time and time again that the dream is worth it, that we have to soldier on through all those rejections, and look! Even J. K. Rowling was rejected a zillion times, you can do it too!
And we know. I know. Because it's true. Because I know that the dream is worth it and I will only ever get there if I can stick it out through all of this.
But there are some times when it hurts more than others. There are some times when it all seems pointless, in spite of all the advice, all the reassurances. There are some times when I feel like I am standing in a glass bubble, screaming for someone to notice me, to give me a chance, just one little chance, just let me TRY - and yet no one can hear me.
We all feel like that. I sure as hell feel like that, especially lately. Sometimes, it all piles up and I realized that while people tell us that we're going to get rejected and it's going to hurt and we just have to keep going, no one can tell us just how much it will hurt. Just how hard it is to keep going sometimes.
And just now, I was editing, soldiering on as usual, and something popped into my head. What I am striving for is the same thing my characters are striving for - the impossible dream. That thing they can't reach but damn it, they are going to try and get it anyway, because they have to, because what else is there to do?
Because this is who we are. It hurts to get rejected, to wait, to spend countless hours editing a manuscript more precious to us than gold and that no one might ever read, but we do it anyway.
Since I'm a musical theatre geek times twelve, that thought came because I was reminded of this:
And the world will be better for this / That one man, scorned and covered with scars / still strove, with his last ounce of courage / To reach the unreachable stars.
That is what I'm doing. That is what each one of us is doing as we spend hours writing, polishing drafts, perfecting query letters, praying over our inboxes. We are each trying to reach our own unreachable star. We are each living our impossible dream. And we are each making the world a better place for it.
And in spite of all the pain, it is so, so worth it.