Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Impossible Dream

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.


  1. so true... I know how you feel. normally I have thick skin, but when an avalanche of rejection hits all at once, no amount of thick-skinned-ness will keep out all the pain.
    also, when I feel down, or feel like no one is never going to recognize/see my writing at all, might be cheesy, but I just watch this video over and over:

  2. Impossible dreams FTW! It suck suck suckity SUCKS you're having such a craptastic time lately. But, like you say, it will be worth all the blood, sweat and tears in the end, if only because you know you've worked like hell to get there. I know all my words probably don't mean much - pep talks aren't really my thing, sorry! - but you're INCREDIBLY talented, Other Caitlin, and if the work you put into blogging is indicative of the work you put into novels, you are bound for greatness :) Keep reaching for that star! If all else fails, I'll buy you a super-galactic ladder for Christmas!

  3. Thank you guys. *hugs* That means a lot. :)

  4. That is such a perfect way to put it "The Impossible Dream". Rejection is so hard to take, sometimes, but I think learning to open yourself up TO that rejection is half the battle. Being brave enough to put yourself out there (in all spheres, writing, jobs, internships, school, life) is hands down the hardest thing to do in life. And you're doing that, which means, imo, that you're already *there* as a person. Now the dream's just got to catch up to you.

    (Also you are fantastically talented and I cannot wait to read your edits once my dastardly exams are over, but I don't think I even need to remind you of that <3).