Graduate School Rejections and So Much More

zizkov book cover
This is my imaginary book cover for my novel if it gets published. Or if I publish it. It’s a work in progress. The book cover that is.

Brown sent me a rejection letter. They didn’t actually send me a letter they sent me a link to my profile page for the application process which lead to another link to a pdf that had a letter. It was a better rejection then UC San Diego because it at least came from the actual department and had a letter head. UC San Diego sent a single sentence e-mail from the Graduate admissions department. Brown sent a paragraph. They have far too many excellent and ambitious people that apply and they have to disappoint a lot of talented folks.

Not to be mean or down on myself, but it was a long shot. I’m not the best and the brightest in the nation, and that was kind of predetermined by many factors. I do believe I would have excelled at Brown because getting in would be… well unimaginable almost impossible. They take the most brilliant, most academically groomed, the most ambitious, and the most talented. They do not take self-conscience low-income under achievers that doubt every creative move. I had to teach myself how to be a student because I never knew how to be one. Education was pretty much a state requirement, and college was a lucky accident (of course my student loan debt makes me feel a little unlucky at times). My parents never went to college, in fact, no one in my family went to a four year college (maybe a cousin did, but I’m not sure) so I’ve been kind of the lead ship in the college world. And, lem’me tell ya’ aside from my parents the rest of my family have been far more successful economically without out college and it’s debt so I’m not really gaining any higher education points here (but I studied writing and theatre so they should take that with a grain of salt). I do think places like Brown could use an insecure fuck up like me in fact most Ivy Leagues could. It would do wonders for the world if the elite and the Ivory Tower embraced a few struggling insecure bad choice making low income creatives. Of course, then it wouldn’t be elite or ivory, right? Also, I may not have been picked because my writing may just be bad or not what they are looking for or they didn’t see a future in me or they didn’t think I could cut it or I had no spark… I could go on, but it doesn’t matter.

I’m only a sliver of sad, but deep in my heart I knew I wouldn’t make the cut. My metaphysical Abraham-Hicks self-destiny believing friends would say it was my, “deep in my heart I knew I wouldn’t make the cut,” thought that caused me to not make the cut. I didn’t visualize it enough. True. I didn’t. I just daydreamed and I hoped. But, just because I “knew” it didn’t mean that I didn’t hope I was wrong. I always hope I’m wrong in these matters. Especially, when it comes to acceptance and recognition for my creative work or for my intellectual value; I always want to be wrong.

I still have two more schools to hear back from, but I’m not holding my breath. At least I applied. I may have low-confidence in my abilities as a writer, but I still try. My last instructor, when handing out my certificate for writing, never said I was a good or talented writer, but he did say I was tenacious.

I’m thinking about changing my attitude towards writing. I’m going to stop calling myself a writer and start thinking of it as a hobby.

“Do you write? Are you a writer?”

“What me?” Scoff. “No, I’m a hobbiest. I write as my hobby.”

I think it will take the pressure off. As a hobbiest I feel a little more driven towards self-publishing because what do I care if I suck at self promotion? I don’t even care if people actually read it, but I have it out there in the world, and if someone happens to accidently stumble upon it, and like it then great. See how relaxed my writing hobby is? Sometimes it costs money to self-publish, and I may end up pouring money into self-published books that never give back the amount of money that I put in. Yet, look at car enthusiasts and people who build those little ships inside bottles! They put a lot of time and money into their hobbies, and then show them off sometimes, but never expect to get money back. It’s for the pure joy of the hobby. I feel better already.

As I was writing this post I received a rejection e-mail from a publisher. I cried. I wasn’t expecting it. Not today. Not right after Brown’s letter. Man, that same shit happened last month. San Diego said, no thanks, and then an hour later an editor said no thanks. Luckily, I’m a hobbiest now and those tears were just left over from when I was a writer earlier this morning.


  1. I love this. I can relate from a visual artist point of view. People buying my art made me feel pressured to please even more than I already did. It changed how I felt about making art. Like I had to produce what other people like and I forgot how to make art just for the pure pleasure of being creative. Keep writing. YOU have something to say. Thank you much for sharing. xo

  2. My dear friend, do not lose hope. Do you know how many great writers have been rejected over the centuries? Too many to count. Why do you write? If it’s for money or fame, you know in your heart that only a very few make it that way. But if you write because you must share your words, then they will be shared and your goals will be achieved. We live in an exciting time; a time where we can share our words with the entire world in a matter of seconds. Think of the impact you alone can have upon the world with just your words. Fame and fortune are meaningless in comparison. It’s not about what job you have, what school you attended, what degree you have or about how much money you make, it’s about the differences you made in other people’s lives while you lived. Do not lose hope, jsut work on your focus. Focus on your true goals, on what your soul truly wants and the rest will follow. What you focus on increases, so why not focus on the positive? We are only here for a brief blip in time, why waste it on things that don’t uplift you? The question you must always remember is: “Is the world a better place for me having been here?” And then focus on making the answer: “Yes, it most certainly is.”

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