I got a rejection letter from Medium a couple (few? fuck time) days ago. Rejection sucks; even when I know it won’t make me quit, it’s definitely not a moment in history I will be looking to revive over and over again. I read this succinct note that very courteously passed on their offer to hire me to write and then I spent a few minutes wondering where I could stuff my gag reflex for long enough to stop caring.
I thought about writing a post about it, but I hesitated before the rant had even left my fingers.
Rejection. From a (potentially) paying gig.
All I could think about was every instance of rejection in music, and how the rejection that stung the most wasn’t from the peeps supposedly prepared to give me a damn job, but from the folks desperately in that fight with me, for a job, any job, any brief blister burst of tension release that let the soreness of struggle abate for just a moment. The rejection that smarts the most is from people who let judgment sneak into their good intentions like the gaslighting douchebag that’s never been laid but insists you were a decent fuck each and every time. What kind of team holds its members’ humiliation as hostage until the results change?
What kind of team lets its players pick each other to bits behind an already bleeding back?
I wandered onto Medium a couple hours later and caught Notorious’ piece. It was brilliant and exquisitely on point, to literally no one’s surprise. Reading it not only helped me articulate to myself the specific ways in which that rejection letter fucked with me, but also, somehow, left me with zero bitterness. There was not a trace of competitiveness or jealousy anywhere in the piece. It was exactly how I felt and exactly what I needed to read.
And then, y’all. These comments. Writers traipsed in with similar snark about their own rejections, each and every one of them in a different vein of humor, and most lacking any sort of competitive edge that would have cycled me straight back to bitter brunch and a straight up misery martini. Other writers promptly popped in to exclaim Nonsense! and Eff that; you are brilliant! at Notorious. The reactions were immediate and steady and utterly bare in their absorption of another writer’s upset.
I gotta know. Is this a Medium thing, or is this a writer thing?
My cynicism says this is a Medium thing, because I think insecurity and fear and power are everywhere, and a crevice in the world that lacks what fetters an individual’s journey is an anomaly. I’m jaded enough to think a community that does this, and does it automatically, is exceptional.
So, that’s what’s good about Medium. It’s what’s always been good, if I’m being long-term truthful. We got that part exactly right. And here’s something else: it didn’t involve ranking us with money at all.
But like if you can, still totally help me with the money part ok because I’m on day seven jillion and I could die from consecutive posts. You don’t know. Maybe that’s happened. Shhhh stop typing