Recently I was rejected. I spent a lot of time crafting the perfect letter, re-writing and re-reading and editing the hell out of my argument to compose a convincing, logical, matter-of-fact and to the point submission. I sent in my proposal confidently. The rejection was prompt, and, of course, it stung.
I received a phone call several days later. “You have to explain why YOU want this,” the man instructed, “You have to say why YOU, not anyone else. They didn’t buy it.” I removed too much humanity from my writing, and the panel wasn’t pleased. They didn’t want perfect. They weren’t looking for politically or grammatically correct. They wanted the messy version: gritty, personal, detailed. They wanted human.
I submitted a second letter, this time writing for a friend. I wrote truthfully, about relationships and desire. I mentioned insecurities and inserted myself back onto the page. It worked.
Panels, bosses, review boards and government agencies — yes, they have a pulse, too. This is the place where we connect, where we can build bridges, where we can learn from each other and help ease our suffering.
Let’s not forget our where our commonalities lie. Our hearts beat the same.