Rejection #1

I didn’t want to write about this. I thought that it had been done too many times before. I thought that no one would care to hear about my small failure.

I got my first playwriting rejection back a few days ago. It’s not the first rejection I’ve ever received for my writing. It wasn’t like I had a lot riding on this submission, but it still took me into a tailspin for a couple of hours. Worse, it turned up the volume on the inner critic in my head.

I thought that writing about it would be more white noise, but when I sat down to “get back on the horse” this morning and churn out some new pages, it wasn’t that simple. I had to keep ignoring that critic’s voice, keep reminding it to wait until the revision stage. After a while, I was able to write what I wanted, enough to get the motor started on this idea that has enchanted me since late November of last year. I couldn’t let myself give up on it because of one small set back.

That’s when I decided that my story was worth adding to the many out there. Not because it’s special or because any different advice to give. You just have to push through the failure and find a reason to keep going. You have to have grit to fight for what you believe in: your self and your writing. I’m writing here because it’s always good to keep these things spoken or written down. Failure surrounds everyone, so it’s good to give more time and attention to the positives.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got about writing wasn’t really advice but a statement of fact. A poetry guest instructor at Young Writer’s Workshop told us that writing is “a battle against the empty page.” It made every effort to come up with a new idea, form it into words, and paint it across that empty page a brave, warrior’s act. It has made me a more disciplined soldier of a writer. Take up your weapon of choice (pen or pencil), and go to battle.


About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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One Response to Rejection #1

  1. Sorry to hear that your first query resulted in a rejection. It’s always a bummer, but just remember that not every play is right for every company, and just because you got one rejection, doesn’t mean the play is not worth publication. Maybe I can offer some suggestions as I’ve been through the submission process several times. Feel free to shoot me an email (on the connect with me section of my blog.) Two questions: 1) Did you submit to multiple companies at once? If not, are you planning on making any changes before resubmitting? 2) Has your play ever had a production?

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