Dreamers are most likely to be the kinds of people who are prone to rejections and disappointments. I was once a dreamer who aimed to reach for certain heights which I believed were essential to my so-called “fulfilled life”. When I was young, I was in love with stories as poets are obsessed with their muses. There was something sensuously tempting about the idea of creating a world where your personal ideals exists and the place you have always longed to belong with is just around the corner of your imagination.
I create stories in my head with such a passionate gesture that I would place a pen and paper beside my pillow and even talk to my characters alone in my room. I enjoyed conversing with their silent responses and violent whispers which led to a gradual creation of plots and conflicts. They became my friends and literary partners who helped me out with the stories that I wish to tell. My room suddenly became a place where stories transpire and manifest themselves on typewritten manuscripts.
Every time I take a look at my drafts, they seemed to show a particular eagerness to be shown out there in public. I could not help but smile and absorb the eagerness too. When I was 16 years old, I took all my guts to show my four of my friends a freshly-written manuscript and asked them to give it a quick scan. They were just my friends and not even a publisher but it had been one of the most thrilling and suspenseful time of my life. The next day, two of my friends told me that they were not really that happy with my work. They thought it was boring.
The other two did not even dare finish it. My story obviously was not good enough. However, I never lost hope. I knew I had a great story to tell filled with remarkable characters that were destined to be perpetually remembered such as Harper Lee’s Atticus Finch and Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer. I knew there was something special about these people that I wish to free from my imagination and introduce to the real world. But I have failed them. I began to feel like a loser who pretended to be Superman by promising these creatures freedom from the clutches of a writer’s sporadic imagination.
That depressing day gave me the realization that not only my work was rejected. It was the entirety of my ideal world that they have dismissed and discarded as something that was unacceptable and boring. I was a wreck. Suddenly, I began to despise the room which once seemed to provide me all the gladness in the world. Apparently, I have expected a lot from myself. I gave myself and these characters false hopes that one day we would be known for our uniqueness and greatness. Obviously, the world does not revolve that way.
It rotates the other way around against the normal rotation of an insipid clock. Five years later, when I was trying to clean up my room, I visited my old box where my old manuscript was and started reading it after a very long time. I could not help but laugh about how amateur it had been at that time. The world that I have created in that story is absolutely not the world that I imagine to be ideal in the present time. The characters appeared to be some kids taken out directly from a teen flick.
Rejection plays a brutally important role in a person’s development and growth. Without criticisms, one cannot experience the beautiful feeling of maturity. Truly, I have lost a great deal of positivism and childish enthusiasm when the first story that I dared to print for my friends received negative reviews. I have not printed and showed another story to someone for a long time after that incident. I have lost my personal communication with my characters. Meaning to say, they have stayed in their world as I have stayed in mine.
That rejection made me realize that being too overly passionate about something is not healthy as it can ruin an aspect in your life that is essential. I could have gone mad if I have stayed drowned in my own pool of rejections. However, I finally came into realization that creating your own world by writing stories does not give you an assurance that other people are willing to share that world with you. Most of the time, you just have to keep that wonderful place hidden because it is your—and yours alone.
Courtney from Study Moose
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