Following on from last week’s post about rejection being part of the job, I was intrigued to listen to writer David Nobbs had to say about rejection at the 2014 National Association of Writers’ Group’s Festival of Writing this last weekend.
He gave us a humorous account of his writing career (to date!) and, of course, that included the background to one of his most famous of works, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. This originally began life as a play, which Dobbs sent to the BBC. They rejected it. He called this, “the best rejection of my entire career,” although, obviously, it didn’t feel like it at the time. Dejected he put it to one side, until a while later, when he found himself thinking about it again. Realising that perhaps the play wasn’t the best format for this idea, he began rewriting it as a novel, called The Death of Reginald Perrin. This was published and found critical acclaim, and was followed by two more highly successful novels.
As a result, the BBC then came calling, wanting to turn the novels into a television series, which David was asked to write. And so The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin was produced.
Had the BBC not originally rejected that initial play, the books and the subsequent television series probably would not have been created. So in the end, that rejection turned out to be extremely fortunate!
When we receive a rejection, it’s easy to focus on the here and now. We know how we feel now and it’s not always easy to see what the future holds for a particular project. But just take comfort from the fact that it’s not necessarily the end of the story. Who knows what the future might bright? It’s possible that the idea is destined for bigger things - you just don’t realise it yet!
So, next time you receive a rejection, just hold that thought that what has just happened might just be for the best!