I received a rejection on a project the other day. I was disappointed. The letter was nice in a form letter kind of way, though it gave me nothing to work with. No criticism either constructive or otherwise. But it was, you know, okay. Except for one thing.
The letter was an email, of course, because that’s what we all use now, and that’s fine—I don’t think things stung any less when they were on paper as opposed to the monitor screen. But what cropped up in the “from” on my email was Generic, Publisher’s Name.
Generic? Really? The definition of generic, “characteristic of or relating to a class or group of things; not specific” is harmless enough; nevertheless, I felt more insulted than I could remember ever being by a rejection letter—of which I have had many. Because what generic means to me isn’t really innocuous at all.
It means without color, like the black-and-white boxes of generic groceries used to be. Maybe what was inside was okay, if you could get past the uninteresting exterior.
almost always work as well for me. Even if they don’t, I try to live with it because—yeah, they’re cheap. Cheap is okay with me sometimes. And sometimes it’s not.
It means allthesame. I know that’s not a word, but it’s the brush critics have been painting romantic fiction with ever since I can remember.
It means “I can’t be bothered.” Makes me flinch just to think that, but I do.
As I read back over this, I think I feel sorrier for myself than is attractive, and I’ll be over it soon. But I don’t think I’ll be over the word generic ever. Because I’m not generic and neither are you. Neither is our work. So there.
Have a great week.