In my last post, I discussed how I went about combing through submissions for Pitch Wars, a writing contest for which I’m a mentor to an unagented writer of my choosing. As I explained, I was trying to be as logical as possible, but that I couldn’t ignore my gut. And my gut is subjective.
Now, two weeks later, I find myself attempting and failing at writing rejections.
I know the 76 rejections I have to write (I ended up with two fabulous mentees, if you’re wondering why I’m not writing 77 for my 78 submissions) are only truly useful to those who submitted if I give them specific feedback. These people already know they weren’t chosen. I’m not even sure they’ll open the email when I send it because, really, writers are subjected to enough rejection, why actually read one you knew was coming?
But also, all 76 of those rejections are for reasons that are completely subjective.
Completely. Even if I give each entrant the specific reason my gut veered away.
And how does one truly explain subjectivity?
As Keanu says above, what if what I see is completely different from how others see it? Subjectivity is a stew of so many factors—preferences, education, background, mood, interests, etc.—what can a writer gain except information that can be used with someone who is similarly subjective?
So, if we constantly tell each other that “writing is subjective” what are we truly supposed to learn from that? What do you think?