As creatives rejections is a fundimental part of our path. Over the past few weeks I have been exploring the role of rejection within the creative process, how it shapes us and how the fear of it can hold us back.
I have adressed it in two ways.
First with a article for Refresh Magazine on The Liberites of Rejection.
Second with a section of recently rejected poems on Vocal.media.
The Art of Rejection
Recently Rejected Works
I love the ethos behind Refresh Magazine, their commitment to amplifying marginalised voices within writing and their we’re-going-to-do-it-ourselves approach. When submitting to publication after publication so often feels like shouting into the void. As a problem this has stumped me on more than one occasion. With noone listening, why keep shouting. This was the starting point of my article on The Liberties of Rejection, how to reframe the sometimes all-too-numbing fear of rejection into something good, something transformative. In recent talks with a friend of mine we even noted how rejection almost seems like a “real writer” thing, beacuse who doesn’t like to be under-appreacted in their time. But after the small joy of being “real” wears of theres the very real problem of having to deal with the fact that someone didn’t want your work. This is what I explore within my article.
Upon writing about the Liberties of Rejection, I was rejected by three different publications in quick succession. Thank you to Dear Damsels for always providing feedback with theirs. Each of these, though for very good reasons, was a test of my resolve, if I could practice what I preached in my own damn article. Turns out I can, it just takes some time.
What these rapid-fire no’s gave me was a little time for reflection, so I sorted back through my previously rejected poems, ones that didn’t fit or didn’t work. Months old and gathering dust. Of course there were others that, I realise I wouldn’t want published anywhere. Thank fuck they weren’t. But the three I selected, those I deemed worthy, have been published on Vocal.media and I would love if you can check them out.
Commodifying poetry, by encouraging you to click the links, is not something I’m fully comfortable doing (yet). Ideally we would all be able to put poems into the world, they would be found and loved, and money would not even factor into it.
But capitalism is a bitch and we’re all trying to survive it. So by clicking on my links to vocal.media, giving my poems a quick read, and (hopefully) a like, you will be supporting me to continue creating.
As always, this is about more than money, I am actively looking to create a community; poets supporting each other. To do this, I would love if you would leave a reply down below of your Vocal/Medium/WordPress pages. Things you would like me to check out or like or comment on. So we can all beat the anonymity of the algorithm together.
These grapes, gauche skin slick and painted, gives way when bitten, to the turbid green simple strokes, marbled teeth render pulp and dry coat peel Here you sit, presented caught and calcified, pitch stain even the shadows stalled to take in the pungent fruit before it never rots...
It will be when I walk out the office door for the last time, though we no longer go in and it will, in the back of my throat, be a scream a breath, intake and out, all over again It will make me lighter, feel softening shoulders tension release, and then build as I walk on purposefully so, no office chair or zoom call a break, in some simple way, until regrown It will have been worth it, crash course in all the ways I'm not sure I want to be but still enlightening, in all that I need to become head high, and bridges intact, I'll happily fuck off.
In husks and hulking carapaces of ancient beetles that used to crawl skitter and shill round little tracks and grooves; bloom fruit. Crack the metal wings lifting rust and purple hues to let out creeping vines let slow blooming brambles prick through the sides of a heavy abdomen. And all the little paths worn down by tired tread and stitching hives together overgrow with grass and bones and leave no exit signs but bonnets bursting, overgrown.