Rejection: Just Say No (When I Strike Out I Ain’t a Bum)

        As writers, we all get rejections.  Ain’t writing just a microcosm of life?  We all get rejected at one time or another.  Maybe something is wrong with me, or I’m just so old it is hard to hurt my feelings, but I never take it too personal.  In baseball if you bat .100 you’re a bum, but as writer that makes you a star.  I have to admit rejection does bother me more for my young friends out there though, especially if people are harsh or cold.

        One of my writer pals in Newfoundland got a rejection letter and posted her feelings on the subject on her blog.  I sent this comment to her post to cheer her up.  If Steven King can start out with a stack of ’em on a spike by his bedside, me and Val can be every bit as as good as him.  We ain’t nothing but human, and as they say in the sports world, ‘We all put our pants on one leg at a time.”  (I don’t know whether the lady writers say that or not.)

        My pal Val liked the comment, and I thought I ought to circulate it some more, so I posted it today.  I’ll title the response to her post  ‘Rejection:  Just Say No.”

        “Tell them you have it on good authority that in real life Charlie Brown married the little red-haired girl, owned a string of franchise hamburger joints in the Southeast, had a net worth of twelve million dollars, and was a successful writer under a pen name. They had six beautiful children and seventeen lovely grandchildren.

        Lucy ran a high-falluting publishing company, only took on material she deemed ‘Literary fiction of publishable quality,’ went broke, and never had sex.  So there.”

        I always did think Lucy was sorta cranky.

        Okay, so I was in a whimsical mood.  I gotta go see a bunch of sick folks in the AM and figure out some way to help them.  Art is the only way I know how to deal with it all.  Maybe I won’t get on base 90% of the time, but just ’cause I strike out a lot doesn’t make me a bum.  I gotta play, and write too.  It keeps me, my readers, and my patients happy.  Who’d want to see (or read) an old doctor who was a grump?  

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Thought of the Day, writers I identify with, Writing

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

11 Comments on “Rejection: Just Say No (When I Strike Out I Ain’t a Bum)”

  1. Billy Says:

    No doesn’t always mean “No”.

    I once asked the best car salesman in town what made him the best. His response to me was: “When I ask for the sale and they told me “no” I realized they were telling me “I want say ‘yes’ but there are reasons I cannot right now”. So I would ask again later, but I never took it personal.”

    Tell that friend of yours to write another story, a better story and someday they will say ‘yes’ and when they do they will want to know what others they have.

  2. You mean aside from House and Bones McCoy, right? 😉

  3. Rejection is, indeed, a part of life. Still, it’s always hard to deal with, especially when it comes to artistic endeavors, because so much of our art is a sort of baring of our lives and souls. It’s hard to see that sort of honesty and openness rejected.

  4. Cindy Carter Says:

    Shoot, Dr. B…
    I feel like if you even stand up at the plate and swat at the balls you are doing a great job. Sooner or later, you are bound to hit one. But, you gotta take your turn at bat to get there….

  5. drtombibey Says:


    Billy, you are exactly right. No means maybe except in terms of personal relationships. If a woman says no to some fellow it should mean absolutely not.

    Dennis, I guess if I was as smart as House I’d been a T.V. doctor.

    Don’t worry about old doc slightly; he’s still in the ball game, but you are right. Art often involves tossing your heart out there and seeing just hard hard folks can stomp on it and not break it. Don’t you worry about me for even one minute, kid. Old Doc is tough as shoe leather.

    And Cindy you are also correct. I might strike out some, but I’m on the field playing ball, getting my turn at bat, and not just a spectator.

    Dr. B

    • hollins090164 Says:

      Hi Dr.B.
      I really like the last reply to Cindys comment,I could’t agree more.Thanks for leaving your link on my blog!

      • drtombibey Says:


        Hey thanks for dropping by. Cindy is a long time reader and writes some fun country stories. She’s on my blog roll, so check her out. Come back and visit. We’re all havng a rocking good time.

        Dr. B

  6. Val Says:

    Dr.B, I do believe Harvey County is damn lucky to have you. I do believe that I’m damn lucky you found me so I could find you and therefore other writers who visit my small spot have also found you. Thank you for being a good pitcher so I can maybe hit one out of the park, Ty Cobb style.

    • drtombibey Says:


      We’re lucky to have found you way up in that yonder land too, ’cause you’re as Harvey County at heart as this old hillbilly doc.

      Here’s a cool Ty Cobb story. I read it somewhere, and I think it is true, but I am not positive.

      They way I heard it, he was not an educated man, but he listened to all the big business guys who had some influence and wanted to hang out in the locker room with the players. He never said much, but when those boys said they were gonna buy some stock, he’d go out and get him a few shares. He put it all in a big sack in the closet and held onto it.

      When he went home to Georgia to retire that sack of shares was worth over a million bucks, and back then a mil was real money. (Still is)

      I always heard being a Georgia boy Coca-Cola was one of his favorites. Good choice.

      Ty was a player.

      Dr. B

  7. danny fulks Says:

    When I started writing for publication I was so dumb I sent the same story to several journals without telling the others. I learned later this is a no no although some editors feel they can sit on your story for two years and then reject it leaving the writer with two lost years for that ms. I was lucky, never got caught and did get takers. I only have one piece I never got published and I still break it out once in a while and work on it some more. One publication leads to another. When I got a good journal to take my work, I sent a copy of that piece with my ms. to other journals as a sample or what they call clips. A friend was told the editor liked the piece, made suggestions for improvement. Friend did the editor’s wishes only to have it rejected outright afterward. The great thing about art is it has to stand on merit. A connection might get you read or even published but if it doesn’t stand up the piece dies a natural death no matter who you are related to except for politicians who can do favors for a publisher. Whatever happened to Ronnie Haggard, Marty Robbins’ son, and others?

    • drtombibey Says:


      Man I hear the voice of experience there.

      I’m gonna do my best to write what I believe to be true and then let it shake out from there. In a free society, (And we are still a little bit free) things will find their way over time.

      I dunno on your last question; would have to do some research there.

      Dr. B

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: