Friday, July 25, 2014

Some reasons for getting rejected.

So this is one of those of painful topics that very few of us want to talk about. How do you react when your work - screenplay or whatever that is - gets rejected? Do you get mad or do you give up? How do you cope with it and do you ask why it happened?

There are actually a lot of pretty good guides out there if one wants to know how to cope with rejection. The advice is pretty basic but it's definitely helpful. It ranges from not blaming yourself to talking to your friends etc.

Nevertheless, even though we have to come up with coping mechanisms that allow us to move on, as human beings we should be curious enough to know what exactly went wrong and why.  In my opinion it's not enough to just move on. 

One of the things that I myself have learned about rejections is that I have learned to pay  more attention to the quality of my product.  I take another look at what I managed to do, if there were mistakes and how big of a difference those mistakes made.

With just about every script I have noticed that, yes, I  really did make mistakes. Some of them were bigger, some of them were smaller. Some of them really made the difference and objectively speaking probably ruined my chances. 

In any case, noticing that you make mistakes is a good thing and it should bring you relief. It gives you a rational explanation to why things went wrong and why you were rejected. It was your fault - that's awesome. Next time you can do better. You have a reason.

But it isn't always that simple. Even if you happen to make mistakes, it doesn't mean that it was the reason why you got rejected. It's possible that your product nevertheless, overall, was good enough. So there can be other reasons too.

Speaking from my own experience (writing specs & competitions) and how much I've learned about how people in the business think, I think I can say pretty safely say that quality doesn't always matter. As shocking as it sounds, not all people care enough.

As unfortunate as it is, everyone has biases. There are of course exceptions, but too many people out there simply don't have what it takes to say what's good and what's not. Too many in charge can't tell what's right and what's wrong - or they just don't give a damn.

That's what makes the whole thing so difficult and depressing.  Make mistakes as a writer that are too big and you get rejected. Don't make mistakes, do things too well and you might get rejected too. That's something that's not easy to accept at all.

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