After you get so many rejection notices you decide you don’t need anyone’s permission to have your work read. Worse than rejection is getting no feedback in return, the worst part about submitting is you more often than not are left with the echoes of your own doubts. You begin to believe not sending out your material is the same as sending it.
I didn’t quit my day job. I just needed a space of my own in the void. For years I sent synopsis of screenplays and short stories. Most of my query letters never got a response from the bottomless pit where they dropped. Serious writers hate asking gatekeepers for permission, just as nature abhors a vacuum because what you send out there rarely returns. Sometimes months, or even years later, you get a response. These responses are often vague rejections, terse and disconnected, like garbled radio messages from deep space probes. You can blame the millions of other writers trying to talk to the same probes.
An adequate analogy for reclusive artists is found in the end of Kafka’s The Trial, where K is told the allegory of a man sitting beside an open door guarded by a knight. The man waits all his life for permission to enter, but it was his choice to go through the door on his own.
I’m going through my door, into a house I’ve built on a foundation of influence and obsessions. It’s a dark place and I’m not alone. It’s only half hollow here. The first thing I do is turn on a light to mark my place and shout into the foyer, “Don’t leave, yet, I just got home!”