Friday, July 29, 2011

The Letter of Rejection

Yeah, it happens to all of us.

You pour your heart and soul into something. You seal the envelope and take a deep breath as you pop it into the mail. You send it off and wait. And wait. And finally get a note in return. Just one simple piece of paper that shreds your hopes and dreams into kitty litter...

This was I believe, written
by Hunter S. Thompson to Mike Peters,
an aspiring writer who'd sent a satirical piece to Rolling Stone.

I've had worse.

You see - a Rejection Letter isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's actually a good thing. Any salesman will tell you that a "NO" is better than a "Maybe". "No" means "we're not interested, move along." "Maybe" means that you have to hang around and wait. And there's nothing worse than waiting.

Of course, there are some ways of saying "No" that are nicer than others.

I pitched an idea to the good people at McDonalds many years ago. A couple of days after dropping off the package, I got a call from the VP of Marketing. He explained their marketing strategy and why my project didn't fit within their plans. He spent at least 20 minutes with me because I had taken the time to include McDonalds in my plans. Very nice. What more can you ask of them? I ran out and ate a Big Mac to thank him.

I pitched a project to William Shatner once. He called. We spoke. He turned me down for scheduling reasons - but offered a number of very good creative suggestions which improved the overall quality of my project. Advice from Captain Kirk??? BONUS!!!

These days, you often don't get any feedback at all. You send in your project - and it falls into a black pit.





They don't even bother to say that they're not interested.

There are a few good people out there, real gems who do offer feedback and comments. They're the ones who earn your respect and put on a good face for their companies. They're the kind of people you'd want to work with on future projects.

Even this form rejection slip is better than nothing. It's impersonal but informative.

Essanay Studios made Chaplin films back in the day.

They actually used this slip when rejecting screenplays.

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