Monday, April 07, 2008

If you figure it out, let me know.

Over the last few years, I have significantly increased my level of motivation.

Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I realized I was kind of lazy and needed to do something about it. Maybe because I finally stopped betting on the Prince to show up on his white horse and pay all my bills and buy me copious amounts of gifts and just generally take care of my fat ass while I lay around like third base and had a baby every year. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the Lexapro.

Whatever it is, it works. I am an extremely motivated person. As much as I love sleep, I hardly ever do it, because I’m so busy, busy, busy. I like television, but while I’m watching it I’m doing other things; writing budgets, clipping coupons, searching online for more work to take on, writing my book. I never, ever stop.

As my to-do list for the day spilled over into tomorrow, I started thinking.

Why in the hell am I doing this?

Because really? I’m failing pretty spectacularly at almost everything these days.

I get through the day, you know. I walk around with my head held up. I make it to work, on time. I’m usually smiling, even. Sometimes, I even do the right thing, like when I tell a little girl she’s not fat or I laugh when my kid does something insane instead of getting mad and yelling and making both of us miserable.

Inside, though? I’m a big fat mess.

I become more of a mess every day when I get another rejection letter in my email or my mailbox. Sometimes I write something and I think, you know, this is actually good. This is okay. If someone else wrote this, I would read it and laugh. Sometimes I get really nice comments and really nice emails from really nice people and it makes me feel like maybe this isn’t outside of the realm of possibility.

And then? I get smacked back down to reality. Rejection letters are arriving. Almost daily now. Every day I get reminded that I’m not good enough.

Really. What's the point?


Allie Bear said...

I'm really sorry, the only thing that comes to mind is, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger but I know hearing that crap gets old. Just know that you are awesome and your time will come and until then you just have to deal with a lot of bullshit but please, please, please don't give up hope.

Catwoman said...

That just made my stomach sink.

That really, really sucks. To work once again for someone who can't recognize talent, well, you're right. What's the point?

But I guess the point is that YOU care. And for now, it's all you have.

Just keep looking for that new job, the one where you will be recognized.

I? Like my job. I worked my ass off on an event for my VP while my boss was on medical leave for a month. When my boss came back I asked him "so did you hear how the event went?" thinking that he would have heard about how I blew everything out of the water. My boss? He said that all the VP said to him is that the hotel really, really sucked.

Which for the record? I didn't book.

Betsey Booms said...

Ah man. I'm so sorry. Things will swing around. And I know it takes a lot of rejections before that one, super awesome, it's the perfect fit, acceptance comes through.

And hey, I'm pulling for you and we all know how awesome I am and how the universes swings the way I ask it to.

HeatherAnn Fragglehead said...

I'm so surprised to read that you feel that way because in so many ways, I wish I was more like you.

Jessalee said...

I had a writing teacher (an accomplished author in her own right) tell me that you're not a REAL writer until you get a hefty stack of rejection letters. You've done what a lot of writers haven't done. While they don't do anything about their dreams, you are working towards it. And now? You're a real writer with real rejection letters that are not symbols of your failure but symbols of your strength and ability to actually take the steps to get to where you want to go rather than waiting for it to magically fall in your lap.

Each rejection letter you get is just one step closer to the golden ticket that you will get one day where someone says, "You know what? This is awesome!"

Dawn~a~Bon said...


I wish there was something I could do or say to make you not feel so sad.


Bunny said...

You are one of THE BEST writers whose blogs I have ever had the privilege to read. Maybe that's because you're just a really cool person and I would love to hang out with you. I haven't been commenting a lot lately because of all the busy-ness, but you, Chick, YOU are awesome. I wish i could just tell you to "hang in there, your break is coming" but I don't know what will happen, and that's a little too cliche. It is a long-ass slow road, but you will get there. And i will keep reading everything you put out there. Because you are a terrific writer. (And I want to be your best friend.)

Angie said...


In the words of Forrest Gump, ". . . that's all I have to say about that."

tiger lamb girl said...

Like I told someone else today? Don't let your motivation be to achieve validation (someone else's validation of you)! In other words, don't be motivated by some kinda of payoff from others (in the form of validation, compliments, etc).

Be motivated for the achievement, a job well done, a wrong set to rights, an injustice turned on its ear.... THAT will build you up. THAT will be a reflection on you.

That your boss didn't even acknowledge what you achieved is a reflection on HIM. Not you! Don't allow this to upset you. Do not give this kinda of situation permission to fluck with your happiness and sense of accomplishment and worth, etc.

Slap some blinders on. Plow ahead, forge on (man, I'm a mess with must know what I'm getting at). Anyway - just soldier on with whatever goal you have in sight - regardless of others reaction/opinion to/of you.

Don't allow other peoples opinions of you determine whether or not you deem your job well done (or not)!

It'll come. I promise. Something about hitting your mid 30's (if you're slow like me). Some people seem to have this kinda of (genuine) self assurance from a young age. I always wished I had that. I do now. But not only in the last 10 years.

Take encouragement from others. But understand that encouragement is VERY different to compliments/opinions! Compliments & insults are just like opinions (and a-holes...everybodys got one...).

Be kind to yourself. The way to do that is to stop beating yourself up.

xoxoxo {{{hugs}}}
email me if you wanna chat!! xo
I'm up all kinds of crazy hours too...

Kelly M said...

Your in a tough situation at work. But you bust your ass because you care! Their aren't enough people like you out there. Don't give up! I know it's easier said then done. But know you ARE making a difference and SOON your time will come!

As for the rejection letters...I'm no aspiring writer but I'm sure every writer faces this as some point in their lives! YOU ARE AN AWESOME WRITER! You hAve a gift! PLEASE dont' give on it. Every time I read your posts, I think "damn why can't I write like her" You have such an amazing way with yours! Again, if it is meant to be it will!! Keep trying!

YOU ARE AWESOME...YOUR TIME WILL COME..until then..keep your head held high and chin proud of what you do both in your personal life and at work!

Kelly M said...

Sorry..I meant to say you have such an amazing way with WORDS not yours...I should proof read before I hit publish! :)

Kimberly said...

I can't answer that question in terms of your job. I'm sorry people are morons. Truly and deeply.

As for the writing though? You're pushing on because that deep down bit of you that hasn't had the self-esteem crushed out of it -knows- you're an incredible writer. Knows that it isn't a matter of not being good enough, it's about catching the right person on the right day in the write way. There's so much that is a matter of chance, and that's why you're going to keep sending your work out till it gets recognized for the brilliance that it is.

It will. I don't know when, but it will. You might be sick of people telling you how many famous authors got x number of rejection letters, but it's true.

I can only imagine how much the rejection letters hurt. But that's just one person who quickly skimmed or possibly didn't even really read your work. You have my acceptance. -Our- acceptance.

That's why you bother.

Jenski said...

I still have yet to comprehend why people in positions of power do not understand that a little positive reinforcement goes a long way and that just being nice once in a while does too!

That must have felt great that you exceeded your deadline. You will always have your hard work and proof of this excellence to back you up when you need to stand up for yourself.

And if all these people reading your blog love reading what you write like I do, obviously the people you are sending your writing to should poll the internet.

I'm not sure what I just wrote even makes sense, but you get the point. :)

frannie said...

oh, sweetie. I am so sorry. I would totally kick your boss in the nutsack, if I were closer.

sarah bean said...

Well he sucks.
Was it einstein or edison... einstein i think? ... who said "I have not failed 10,000 times, I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work".
Time for your feel good song on loud.
Hope tomorrow is better xx

Wenderina said...

Don't people suck? I mean not all people, but many people.

Sometimes I look around at the people who come in late, take a long lunch, leave early, and what, they make 10% less money than me? What is my effort worth? What is my value?

Truth is - you can't let them set it. You have to get the satisfaction yourself out of getting the work done well and on time, or early! Then (and this is something that I'm sure you are not good at, I'm not either) you have to toot your own horn, beat your own chest, sign your own praises.

Eventually someone will have to hear it. Or so they say.

Wenderina said...

oops... "sing" not "sign"

SJ said...

"There are so many ways to fail but only one way to succeed; NEVER GIVE UP!"

Sweetheard, DON'T GIVE UP. You are an amazing person. Don't ever forget that.

Amira said...

I hear ya, sister. I really, really do.

When you're trying to get up, and it feels like you just keep getting knocked down, sometimes you say, "You know, I might just as well sit here."

So, do. Take a break. Scream. Cry. Take your Lexapro. Breathe.

And then, get up and try again.

That is what we do.

It's okay to take a break and scream, "life sucks!", though. It is okay to do that. That's what you always tell one way or another. ;)

Theresa said...

That sucks. But at least you're getting letters about your writing, I haven't even gotten up the nerve to send any of mine out yet. Try some voodoo on your manager. Even if it doesn't work, it'll make you feel better.

Real Life in Ohio said...

You bother because you are better than that! I know it sucks and it's frustrating and your boss is making a HUGE MISTAKE by not recognizing your hard work and talent, but get that head up! You never know, you may earn your boss' respect after exceeding his expectations a few times. And if you don't, you can end each day knowing YOU did what you were supposed to do! Don't you think you would feel REALLY crappy if you just didn't care and didn't bother? At least you can say you do your best. (and the rest of us who look up to you are motivated by your determination).

And don't give up on the writing either. I'm sure many famous authors were rejected over and over again before someone finally picked them up. It could happen any day.

Wow. And this is coming from a natural pessimist!

I am Trish Marie said...

The point is that you know that you did it, and you were proud of it. I know that is a bit lame...cause really we all want other people to recognize our hard work. And it sucks when people don't. My suggestion? I would have gone in first thing in the morning, with an extra huge cup of coffee, yawning my ass off, and making a big deal about how I stayed up late getting that project in on time....all with a huge smile on my face. Cause I am like that. You are going to know if I do something. I make damn sure of it. I am one of those.

Amy W said...

I hate bosses like that...

Snappy said...

Chick?? You ROCK! And I'm with Frannie.. I'd totally kick your boss in the nutsack for being such an asshat.

Reluctant Housewife said...

Well I think you're fabulous. And funny. And a great writer... And look at all the other great comments... What the hell does your boss know? He probably just didn't get his morning coffee... or enough love from his mother when he was young... or something.

Jocelyn said...

Frick on him. I have to say, the only way I can stay emotionally healthy is to keep my self-definition made up of only about 10% work stuff. Work is made to eff with us. It is not who I am, and it is profoundly unaware of how fabulous I am, even though they think I'm pretty cool. They just don't know ME. Pay work no mind.

I'd also advise not measuring the quality of your writing against the number of rejection letters. Getting published is too often not about writing well or even pleasing an audience. Publishing is a whimsical thing that is about satisfying some one person's vision on a particular day (imagine your boss is the guy deciding what gets we should lend that viewpoint credence?). I know every time I serve on a search committee, I want to write a follow-up letter to the actual good candidates, saying, "It isn't you. It's just that so-and-so had an agenda with this one, so we had to hire the idiot, not you."

In sum, er, don't take it personally.

Julie said...

you bother b/c YOU have a good work ethic and know what your responsibilities are.

EE said...

Don't ya just love Lexapro???

Rachel said...

Your new boss? Is an assmunch. If you're the boss then you should know to check before you accuse someone of not completing their work!!