I'd submitted my work two days before the deadline and then waited anxiously for months. My future was at stake. This would be a great way to get my name out as a local writer. Even though I still can't refer to myself as that. I would if I got the job and actually got paid to write though. But, it would be a whole different kind of writing. Late yesterday afternoon I got my answer via e-mail.
YES! Oh, thank god!
I hadn't even set out to apply for this position with a local paper as a columnist. When we were in Costa Rica, I got an e-mail from the co-editor of this paper telling me they were looking for some female columnists. I'd never considered writing for a newspaper before. She went on to say that she'd read my blog and thought of me, so she extended an invitation for me to apply. I was so incredibly flattered that she read and presumably likes my blog. And I still am.
All I needed to do was write a resume and two sample columns that had something, anything to do with Colorado Springs. Now, I'm used to writing blog posts which I never run out of ideas for. This was a different story though. Amidst the Lance Armstrong confession, I thought about my neighbor, a world class athlete who beat Lance Armstrong a few years back who is involved in doping charges of his own. How totally relevant is that? But, how much do I not want to totally piss off the guy who lives right across from me. And for a job I don't know if I even want, let alone if I'm going to get it. I had a couple other really, really great story ideas. Both involving close friends, exceptionally relevant in the Springs. They are both much too personal and one is much too litigious. So, I can't write either one of those.
So I wrote about some other crap. Things I was interested in, but not passionate about. That's when it started. Doubt. Then, there was the 700 word requirement. Which made me a total Type A anal person. Of which I am not. Although 700 was probably a ballpark figure and I'm sure I could've gone 689 or maybe 702. That's not what I did. I turned in those articles after I worked my ass off to make them 700 words exactly. Exactly people. This is crazy. I was becoming the girlfriend who changes herself for the boyfriend who's perfect on paper. You know, he's a great guy and everything, but the chemistry's just not there. No matter how much I want it to be. And really, all I want to do is let out this huge fart I've been holding in whenever he's around. It's like that.
But, I've been stressed. That maybe the chemistry, or lack thereof, would be misconstrued by the other party. What if they chose me? And while I hoped that I'd delicately and politely decline if that happened. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking that this would validate me as a writer and help get me the exposure to do the writing I really am passionate about. My book. I know that's crazy girlfriend-but-he's-got-a-steady-job-and-he-doesn't-live-with-his-mother thinking. But, I was still really tempted. Of course, I was worried that rejection would sting. After all, everyone wants to be wanted. Or so I thought until I got rejected. Then it was pure relief that I didn't have to contemplate this anymore. Plus, they're giving me a free gift certificate to a spa. And Massages don't sting.
Besides, now I have my first rejection letter, I can frame it and put on my wall. It's the badge of honor of every struggling writer who doesn't feel validated enough to call themselves a writer yet. This all comes the day after I've written the last chapter of my book. Although, I still have lots of editing to go, it's not going to stop me from celebrating with a fish taco, a strawberry jalapeno margarita and some girlfriends today.
Cheers to rejection! And the many more to come!