Writing About The Ocularist

For several months earlier this year, I worked on a feature about a guy, Darren Hall, who makes artificial eyes. The story was the final project for the writing certificate I had been taking over the last couple years at UofT. It was an exhausting, scary project. I hadn’t taken any classes on feature writing and had no idea what the hell I was doing but eventually it came together. I really gained a lot of confidence through this project – when I set out, to be honest with you, I didn’t even think I’d be able to hit the required 3,000 word length. It ended up being around 4,500 – I was just so captivated by my subject and at every turn there was more more more to learn – which I had to pare down to 4,000 before I could start sending out the manuscript.049

On Wednesday, the story got its third rejection. I don’t even feel dejected for my own effort and self at this point (well, maybe a little), but because I think this guy and his work are so interesting and people should know about it. You should never really tackle a big project like this without selling the idea first and I am getting a hard lesson here. Even though I wrote this for a class, and finishing it and getting my certificate should be just reward, it’s not good enough. This work should have a home somewhere outside of my hard drive.

It isn’t the first time I’ve felt like I am letting someone besides myself down because I can’t get a publication interested. Writing is rejection, but I guess it seems easier to take when it’s my rejection alone. When there are two of us involved, when I’m writing about someone, it really sucks.

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