I Got Rejected

And I’m okay with that

I submitted my first piece to a publication on Medium. Here’s what happened.

I’ve only published 41 articles so I wasn’t sure if it was the right time, or if it was good enough. It wasn’t my highest rating article. It was about an experience that has been pivotal in my career in leadership and management. I thought it was worth a read. You can find it here. (Not a promotion of the article, just makes sense to refer to it for context.)

As a friend of mine told me years ago:

If you never go, you’ll never know!

They Looked! 😲

… off it went. Into the ether. I wondered if my baby would be taken good care of and others would goo and gah over it like I hoped they would.

Well … no!

“We took a look and unfortunately it’s not a good fit…”

I submitted the piece last week and then, a couple of days later, the reply popped into my inbox.

It’s not nice being rejected. You put yourself out there, hoping for some recognition. I thought it would be helpful to the right audience. You keep hitting refresh on your email and there is no instant reply.

How dare they! Don’t they know who I am? 😉

I was a bit flat at first. It would have been nice to get something like, “Hey, we liked it. Here are some suggestions. Please resubmit.”

But not to be.

But I am now genuinely happy about it. Not the rejection, per se, but that fact that I submitted something.

I’ve started!

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” — Lao Tzu

I re-read the piece and I now know the topic, quality and style is not for that publication. Not yet, anyway. That is good to know.

Where to from here …

Firstly, I (you) learn by doing!

Here are five things I’m working on each time I submit a piece, either to a publication, or simply here on Medium.

  1. Feel it — It isn’t pleasant but if I don’t feel something, was it even of value to me?
  2. Get feedback — I engaged a friend who looks at my writing and critiques it. We catch up for coffee tomorrow … 😬
  3. Then, write more — get back on the horse, bike, whatever, go again. Write something.
  4. Submit more — write and submit, taking note of any feedback from others. Most people want us to succeed.
  5. Enjoy the process — follow the three Rs: Research, (w)Rite, Relax — yep, totally made that up!

Thank you for reading! 😊

My purpose in writing on BillJamesWallace.com

  1. Personal Development — writing helps me articulate my own thinking. I find trying to create an “argument” for a perspective on paper, quite revealing and at times challenging and I can be more critical of my own thoughts. I frequently find myself thinking: “Why DO I think this?”
  2. Developing Others — to help people make better choices by helping them think critically and realise their potential. We are often blinded by beliefs and thinking given to us by others.

If this was helpful, or other articles have been, consider dropping a coin (USD1.00) by going here. It all adds up and you are making a worthwhile contribution to my coffee addiction! 😉

Everyday Carry – The Bellroy Sling 7 litre

I’m relatively easily pleased. A lot of reviews do a great job of highlighting the pros and cons of products and services. I can get all excited about something, then see a review that highlights a downside I go “back to the drawing board”.

I also like nice things, aka, expensive. So when I spend my money I don’t want to have buyer’s remorse based on the quality or functions of the item. I tend to overthink purchases so much that recently, while doing my usual OCD research into new earphones, my wife got sick of it and just purchased me the AirPods Pro 2. And, lo and behold, they have been fine and I immediately stopped looking at alternatives. Who knew? 🤷‍♂️

I also have items that, once bought, I pay them no more attention other than using them. This means they are functional, meet my expectations and do the job I purchased the item to do.

So, I can be easily pleased and the Bellroy Sling fits that description. It does its job, no more, no less. It has immediately become part of my day both work-wise and, most likely leisure-wise.

So, for others who may be “easily pleased” and don’t need all the technical stuff and just want the question, “Yes, but does it bloody work?” this is for you!

The Bellroy Sling

I purchased the 7 litre sling for AUD149. It’s well made and the zips are great to use with a very solid and comforting mechanism, meaning they don’t feel cheap or about to break. They may “free up” over time with more use but I like them the way they are.

Inside

The sling has two compartments with some pockets with each. Both compartments are quite large and I can fit a surprising amount in, should I need/want to.

One compartment has a zipped pocket with a softer inner lining that holds my glasses. The way I wear the sling, with the leather Bellroy logo facing out, the glasses are closest to my body which adds further protection from being bumped into or hitting something inadvertently. This compartment also has a key chain to hold your keys. The length is short and some have commented it is too short. I don’t find that, I just need access to the keys, which this provides. 

See? Easily pleased.

The other, outer compartment, has two “pouches” rather than zipped pockets to hold smaller items. Super handy. I’ll talk about what I carry shortly.

The Strap

This is one area I was concerned about, as the strap has a magnetic connection. All the reviews I saw said the magnet was strong but I was doubtful. I shouldn’t have been. It takes a bit of force to separate the magnets so I’m very happy with the mechanism. In every day life, if the magnets separated, it would have to get jagged on something pretty hard, and that obviously, lets me know it’s happened and I can take care of it. No issue, don’t even think about it.

The strap can also be lengthened and shortened to your hearts desire. I’m 5’10” or 178cm and I have room to spare to lengthen it further and also shorten it if I want to. 

What Going On Inside?

One thing I need to mention is that I got this to replace my backpacks. I rarely carry my laptop anymore and if I need to I will still use them. But my work set up is pretty flexible so I’m rarely lugging it around.

In the outer compartment I carry odds and ends:

  • my work pass
  • a tab of paracetamol (just in case)
  • iPhone cable
  • Ruler (I like to be neat but I’m using physical notebooks less and less)
  • Pens (Uni-Ball Jetstream 250 Rollerball Pen 0.7mm – Black)
  • Airpods Pro case

The inner compartment (closest to me)

  • Sunglasses
  • Notebook (Leuchtturm1917) or
  • Ipad mini 6
  • 500ml water bottle
  • House/work keys on keychain

I don’t jam it full of stuff as that would defeat the purpsoe of a minimalist carry (for me, you do you!).

A note on protection for the iPad mini. I often forget the iPad is in there and just sling the bag down. It’s not onto anything too hard and it’s not a whack on the floorboards we have but just so you know, the mini is fine and the sling does provide a level of protection, not the level of a padded laptop bag though. 👍

In Summary

As I said above, this does the job in such a way that I don’t “notice” it. Which is exactly what I am after.

There are smaller and larger slings, based on your preference. 

I may be easily pleased but I need tools that get the job done without too much fussing and fighting. This does that for me. Couldn’t be happier.

Go here to check them out. No affiliation. Bellroy don’t know about this article and have no idea who I am.


Thank you for reading! 😊

My purpose in writing on BillJamesWallace.com

  1. Personal Development — writing helps me articulate my own thinking. I find trying to create an “argument” for a perspective on paper, quite revealing and at times challenging and I can be more critical of my own thoughts. I frequently find myself thinking: “Why DO I think this?”
  2. Developing Others — to help people make better choices by helping them think critically and realise their potential. We are often blinded by beliefs and thinking given to us by others.

If this was helpful, or other articles have been, consider dropping a coin (USD1.00) by going here. It all adds up and you are making a worthwhile contribution to my coffee addiction! 😉

Why I’m NOT Reading 52 Books this Year!

Or 100 for that matter!

I have no issue with people reading eleventy hundred books in a year. I’ve tried that in the past (and failed if you need to know). I think anyone who takes up the reading habit is on to something.

I remember when my kids were young, if they did one thing in life, they would be readers and learners. They both are. Job done! 

This year I’m reading  … just seven books … over and over!

I’ve read so many books in the past and have learned a lot from most of them. I know the learnings are there, in my mind … somewhere … but they are not benefiting me.

In life, we don’t forget anything, we simply fail to remember.

– Me!

This year I’m going to slow down a bit, reflect, take notes and learn to my benefit. I want the information from these books to be ingrained. (Links below are affiliate links but if you are keen to read them I don’t care how you access them.)

Atomic Habits (James Clear) – I’ve read this book a couple of times and the process is worth keeping top of mind. I want to quickly flick into good habits when things get out of sorts, as they inevitably will in life. We have one life, building constructive habits is essential.

Smart Talk (Lou Tice) – before neuroscience became popular, there was Lou and The Pacific Institute (there were others, of course). Lou talks through how our self talk can improve with timeless truths and tactics. We are so ingrained with the thoughts and beliefs of others we took on as we grew up that do not serve our well. There are ways to take control and enjoy time in our minds. Lou gives us step by step guidance.

The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle) – took me years to buy this after knowing about it. I had no idea what it was really. Finally bit the bullet and got it after a manager recommended it to me. Read it once, then again and then again. Took notes, looking forward to a couple more reads this year.

The Art of Possibility (Rosamund and Ben Zander) – the best personal development book I have ever read (and I have read many). This was my give away book a few years ago. Bought ten copies, gave them away to friends and colleagues. Unfortunately, I lent my original copy full of personal notes and ideas to someone who then lost it.

Guide to the Good Life (William B Irvine) – As this was first published in 2009, it was the OG Stoic book to Ryan Holiday’s series. Have read it once and taken notes and highlights. Will read again and do the same. One thing I noticed in the first read was that even though we choose whatever lifestyle we want, others won’t comply and we need to work through that.

The Coaching Habit (Michael Bungay Stanier) – I think it was Seth Giodin who called this the best coaching book ever written. Whoever it was, it was high praise. Eminently practical where coaching or influencing others at work and in relationship (helpfully, not manipulatively) this will be a great “workbook” for me this year.

On the Shortness of Life (Seneca) – this is my “bathroom book”. Shorts reads on a daily basis but there is a passage starting on page 74 that had quite the impact. Will take it out of the bathroom this year and make it a deeper study.

Let me know what books you are reading this year … and for what purpose if you like.

I’d be keen to know!

Just Use This App!

Time Saving! Game Changing!
Photo by David Bares on Pexels.com

I’ve had this app on my phone forever. It has got progressively better with each iteration so that now, it can pretty much replace my typing.

I’ve never used it in this way before, but it just dawned on me that it was possible and it relieves so much resistance to sitting down and typing!

When the need arises, the tool appears*.

I’ve recently started a YouTube channel and I need to write scripts and ideas for the channel. Not being much of a touch typist, this was a real barrier. So much so, that I am learning to touch type, and will continue to learn, even with this app.

I was going to type this article about a tool that saves you from typing. 🙄

The app is Apple Notes! Its dictation skills have improved out of sight that it can now record me for as long as I am talking, which for me, is a lot!

The Blank Page

When I stare at a blank page, I can get myself to just start typing but it is often a bunch of words that can’t seem to get coherently from my mind to the page. So it starts as a draft and ends as a (very short) draft.

So many drafts! 😞

This then, is the game changer for me. I can see my words on the page, and I can talk for as long as I like. I can go off on tangents as ideas hit me from all sides. I can explore analogies and arguments that I find worth considering. It can all come pouring out and I find I self-edit far less, if at all.

The blank page dilamma becomes a thing of the past.

That doesn’t mean everything I transcribe is worth publishing. But keeping the information and occasionally going back to review my ramblings can trigger an idea worth pursuing.

Happy(ier) Days

As my wife came home last night, I was finishing off some dictation. She asked me, “Who was that?”, thinking I was on a call. I find that as I dictate, I relax and it becomes conversational. I can let the thoughts roam free. Again, little to no self-editing. I capture everything and can then edit from a vast resource later.

The other benefit, especially for me, is that dictating assumes elocution. The text on the page/app clearly shows how well I am pronouncing my words lets me know if my elocution is poor. It helps me think more about the words and how to enunciate them which will help, I hope, in my presentations on YouTube.

Starting from Square Two

This lowers my barrier to entry. It gives me a head start.

Where typing was the barrier as I know I would have to type and correct, type and correct, this makes the process quicker, allowing me to be more creative and expansive in my thoughts.

If typing is your kryptonite and you haven’t tried dictation, I’d seriously consider giving it a go. Apple Notes has come along in leaps and bounds and comes with every iPhone (who knew? 🤷‍♂️). 😂

If you are after something different, there is also Just Press Record. I have this as well but with the new Apple Notes functions, I’m not sure I will use it as much. I’ll have to run a comparison.

What about you?

Do you use Apple Notes or Just Press Record to dictate your articles?

  • What problems does it solve for you?
  • Is there another, better app, I need to know about?

Let me know!

Thank you for reading!


*A poor effort at adapting the better saying:

When the student is ready, the master appears!