Tuesday, June 10, 2008

a fine rejection

fromThe Believer
tobethany toews
dateTue, Jun 10, 2008 at 10:33 AM
subjectRe: believer seeks magazine by same title to publish her

Dear Bethany Toews,

Thank you for the opportunity to look over these poems. I think there is some fine work here, maybe especially “lizard tails,” but unfortunately I am unable to accept any. I wish you the best of luck placing them elsewhere.

All the best,

Dominic Luxford
Poetry Editor
The Believer

On 5/28/08 7:43 PM, "bethany toews" <writebethanymore@gmail.com> wrote:

I'm scared. I'm scared that you'll be mad at me for not capitalizing the appropriate letters. it's not out of disrespect nor is it some outgrown punk-rock rebellion. I must confess, I am lazy. the time it takes to know what should and should not be capitalized is what kept me from writing for years until I finally realized that I could make my own rules (thanks largely in part to the mcsweeney's establishment where rules are beautifully broken on a regular basis). ever since that momentous moment, I have battled it out with microsoft, word throwing green squiggles under everything I write. I know, I say, but I just don't care. I care about a great many things - cloud shapes and pudding cups and echoing laughter and honest mistakes but proper capitalization of a famous president or an unknown town - I just can't be bothered. anyway, if you're not mad at me, please read my poetry. perhaps perhaps you will think it worth your while...

I posted this because I thought it was awesome. what was awesome was that it came exactly one day after a huge talk about rejection with my dear friend jamie. we are both writers, and creators in general, and we often find ourselves delving into all the complications of such endeavors.

rejection is obviously a big part of being an artist, that and free wine that gives you a narsty headache.

no one, not even van gogh or michael jackson or jesus christ, can win the hearts of everyone. most often you're lucky to get your mother's praise. if you create everything with the intention of pleasing everyone, you might want to consider a different path, one that involves cubicles and a lot of fluorescent lighting. being an artist involves more rejection, or at least indifference, than it does attention and love. but the point is that it doesn't feel like an option otherwise. so why not get over what everyone else thinks (you're crazy, you suck, you're unoriginal, you're not right for the part, publication, so on and so forth) and sign up for your own fan club prepared to be the only member. what I'm a fan of is seeing people believe in themselves, because whether or not someone else does, you're still out there doing it and that in itself, is a beautiful work of art. the world my friends, can never have too much art.


miss clover said...

girl. no me gusta. fine or otherwise, that was not cool. i will never understand the tricky ways of submissions and why some things make the cut and others don't. although actually, it sounds a lot like the process of what we do for at lemon-lime. what's up?

S K said...

The fact that you got a personalized rejection with even a mention of a poem title is proof that you are making an impact. I am sorry to say but I think people fear your power.