A lesson learnt
A rejection letter in hand I did what most of us do.
I printed a few copies of my manuscript and distributed it to my friends. My mistake I had forgotten that this particular story was as collected by my gossip mongering.
And I paid heavily!
My best friend Dede who without her knowledge or approval was the distorted nearly fallen heroine of my manuscript came to my home in the middle of the night demanding why I was writing such things about her in a book.
“Why did you make me sound like a slut?”
I told her that was not the case. She was my best friend, after all.
“Then why did you show me naked and having sex?” she had the copy of the manuscript in her hand.
“That’s not you.” I stuttered.
“Don’t lie.” she yelled. Eyes red, fists punching the air much closer to my face than I ever dreamed, “You have written all these things about sunny, pinky, Ronnie…….what are you trying to do? Tell the entire world about my sex life? The entire school is already talking as it is. How dare you?”
I was screwed royally.
“And who gave you the right to talk about my divorced parents alcohol addiction?” she demanded.
“I wouldn’t do that to you. I swear.” I protested.
“So who would you do it to? ” she demanded.
“Why would I do it?” I defended my fake innocence.
“Because you are a gossipmonger! Because you want to be a writer?” she was in tears. “Even Sicko. Rita has some integrity!”
Sicko. Rita being the worst gossipmonger and having another of such great ambitions : to become a press reporter!
I wished I could patch up her broken hearts while not giving up my passion of listening to stories and writing them down, I said, “this is not you in the book it is….” I mentioned someone else.
“Really!” that was one sarcastic ‘Really.’ That felt like a warning.
She stepped out of the porch she was standing on shaking and trembling in anger and raining tears and called out to Sunny, Pinky, Ronnie, …almost the entire school waiting in the darkness, beyond the hedge of my home!
The entire cast of my manuscript materialized on the porch!
They didn’t have banners nor did they have my effigy to burn but the rest of the dramatics involved in a protest were all there!
They told me I gossiped like a bitch while they trusted in me with their deepest secrets! They called me perverted and other such unprintable names!
For what? So you can become a writer?
They told me how I broke their trust in the entire humanity!
God, I wondered if I was finished!
“Don’t worry the agent is anyway refusing to represent me.” I put up my failure as a shield.
“You deserve that.” They said and walked away.
I lost a lot of friends and the damn agent was also not helping!
I noted down a few pointers from this incident:1. I have to get more juice for my stories, for my novel, to convince the agent who was obviously not satisfied with just this much.
2. Since I was writing to make the world a better place which is the basic intention of all artists writers included, it was Ok to trample a few people on the way for the greater good.
3. I should do this gossip collection surreptitiously and not like Mr. Assange who is spending half the time being dragged to some court. I should do it like James Bond! A spy! And keep writing and writing till the world ends or me ends whichever is first.
4. I should be less sentimental about friends knocking at my door and demanding this and that explanation. Spreading secrets in the form of the written word is my passion and I should do it ruthlessly and not apologetically.
5. I had to get my hooks into some Publisher or agent and under no circumstances get emotional about rejection letters. I told myself, ‘suffer like a man and not like a baby.’
6.This was just the beginning : my first rejection. And after the suffering I was going to analyze it like a scientist and make a success of it.
7. And most importantly : ‘Aim for the Nobel prize.’ I told myself, ‘you will get the booker at least or something else they are giving away.’
But first I had to suffer the rejection letter before I could analyze it!