Rejections hurt. I’m not going to lie. INTO THE DARK is still out with several e-publishers, and it will be a while before I hear from them, but I’ve gotten responses back from a few of the agents I’ve queried. Some were personal, some were form. Some had pages attached, some didn’t. All were polite and respectful. Every single one hurt.
Rationally, I know these aren’t a reflection on me personally. Publishing is a business. Agents have their reasons. Rejection is a part of life. But the emotional side of me wants to crawl into bed and cry every time one pops up in my email. And then the second guessing starts. Should I have edited as much as I did? I’m writing suspense, so I tried to strike a balance between pace and characterization. Did I make the wrong choice? Should I go back in and work on the beginning yet again? And the e-publishers already have it…
Thank God for good friends to give me a much needed calming slap and a foot up my butt. I’ve done the best I can with INTO THE DARK. Yes, an editor will make it better, but I’ve got to hope for that chance and move on. The only control I have over rejections is to use them as fuel to make my writing stronger. When I do get editorial feedback, I need to accept it graciously and learn. For now, I have to leave Dark be and see what happens.
So after my amazing friends listened to my whining, I got back on track. I went back to writing on THE PROPHET and came up with an opening I’m really happy with. I already think the writing is better than INTO THE DARK, but then again, I’m so close to that book I can’t see it clearly anymore. I also wrote another 750 words in a scene I’ve been struggling with and finally feel I’m on track with the new manuscript. I remembered why I was so excited about it and more importantly, I’m looking forward to writing.
“You always believe in other people, but that’s easy. Sooner or later, you have to believe in yourself, too. Because that’s what growing up is. It’s becoming who you want to be.”
–Jason Segel, The Muppets Movie.
So my goal for this week is simple: write. I want to reach turning point one of THE PROPHET by next Sunday.
For those of you that didn’t win NaNo or didn’t participate, check out #NaNoSlackMo, created by the always inspiring Jenny Hansen. The goal is to write 25K this month, but I think getting your butt in the chair and writing as much as possible works, too.
Do you know how many times James Joyce’s Dubliners was rejected? Hint: more than 20.
How’s your week going? Are you finishing Row80 strong?