Sometimes things just don’t turn out the way you expected. It’s not about the effort invested or the money thrown at it, it’s about absolutely everything else deciding – often at a moment’s notice – that whatever you were trying to do is just not going to happen. Since we have started this project the Jabberwocky has not been about preventing these occurrences, it’s been about dealing with them.
I am not terribly good with change. Barny coming home from work early used to send me wandering vaguely round the house for hours. Us deciding to have something else for dinner would have me grumpily picking at my food. So given that I am a creature of routine the whole process of starting a business seems, in hindsight, to have been a very silly idea indeed. Happily I am also a champion of the silly idea, from a long and prestigious line of silly idea-mongers. Some of them, like moving the entire family to Germany for several years, have had happy consequences: Meeting my sister-in-law and learning German. Others, like break-dancing to Alvin and the Chipmunks or playing catch with large rocks, have led to broken legs and missing teeth.
In this industry, like probably any other, success is based around adaptability and rejection. Adaptability, because people are never thoughtful enough to want exactly what you have to offer and rejection because most of the time, they don’t want it at all. Look at Microsoft Windows: No one thinks it works and everyone hates it. And that’s one of the most recognised and powerful brands on the planet.
Rejection used to make me sad, almost heartbroken, because I wasn’t right. When I first showed my angsty bits of post-pubescent writing to someone who wasn’t my mother and was told it was not especially good I swore (on many occasions) that I would never, ever write again. I’m not delighted about being told my writing is pants now, we’re not that far down the road to sanity, but at least I have distilled a full day of despondent melancholy into a mere 45 minutes of impotent rage.
Today we had another rejection from a festival. It came through almost 6 hours ago and while I am not delighted by the situation, I am by no means crying myself a salty, self-indulgent river. I am cautious to suggest this, but I think there is a possibility I may have accidentally become a bit grown up.