What I Learned From My First Rejection

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Last week, I had a kid throw up in the class where I was subbing.

That same day, I got my first e-mail rejecting my book proposal.

Talk about an awesome day. Not.

My brain went haywire…trying to reason with the situation. Well, she DID say that she liked my manuscript, I thought. It’s not that she didn’t want to publish it…she couldn’t because it has a male lead character, I told myself. I tried to make myself feel better because it hurt to think about the reality:

This company is not going to publish my book.

I just had to face the facts. I could try to rationalize it or stroke my ego, but I needed to see that not everyone thinks my book is awesome. I mean hey, you might not even like it if you get to read it.

This forced me to face a difficult truth: my book might never make it onto the shelves at Barnes and Noble. It might never be for sale on Amazon.

I am still wrestling with this fact, and I’ve been asking myself a difficult question ever since: is it worth it to still write if I never see the hardback?

When I have the answer, I’ll let you know…

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4 responses »

  1. Perhaps the real question should be, “why am I writing?”? If you’re writing because you want to see your art in the hands of people in your local Starbucks and on the train and in the parks where parents frequent with their kids then, as you’ve found out, that is terribly hard work, and, even worse, the process to get there is sometimes unfair, random, and happenstance. However, there are lots of reasons to write, and most of them are good. Never forget that you started (and finished!) something that several people talk about doing, but never actually do. Remember why you started, and, most of all, remember that you created something completely unique, something that no one else could have created. It’s your art, and no one will understand, or appreciate it, like you do. You’re allowed to feel absolutely terrible and doubt-driven for 24 hours. Sleep on it, if you must, but when you wake up watch this (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/21/neil-gaiman-commencement-speech_n_1534005.html), and write.

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