“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas A. Edison (on inventing the light bulb)
Behind every true success, there is a mother willing to ignore all the signs that her son is a failure, using his “dream aspirations” as an excuse to prolong unemployment, while she continues to believe in and support him.
And occasionally make him roasted chicken and rice.
But after 34 rejections letters, I finally have three publications, one honorable mention in a western short story contest, and three dollars in payments.
Stephen King, watch yo back!
Interestingly, my first “publication” was in a Navy Times essay contest and it talked about having a brother in the military (my brother made me swear never to post the link to it on his facebook page). Then, after months more of rejection letters, I suddenly received three acceptances all within a week and a half of each other.
Like the old saying goes: “When it rains, it’s Portland.”
Now I should note that four publications for thirty-eight attempts isn’t the greatest percentage—unless of course that’s your success at winning the lottery or my score on an AP Calculus exam back in high school.
Yet this low percentage is something I have become familiar with. I got one acceptance letter for ten graduate school applications. I won one game and had nine losses in my adult basketball league. I was able to catch one kernel of popcorn in my mouth after seven tries (I swear there was a gust coming under the exit door).
But if you notice, even beneath those folds and layers of failure there is still that glimmer of success.
And that glimmer’s what I keep fighting for, baby.
So while people may tell me (you) that we are so “lucky” to have received these publications, that I (you) should try to find a job that pays more than 2 cents an hour (that’s how 3 dollars spreads out across my time spent writing), that maybe I (you) should consider alternate life goals that don’t judge the success of your day by the type pants you take off before bed, I (you) can tell those haters to kiss it.
Because I’ve got some publications, and that’s all I need to continue the delusion.