Monday, December 19, 2011

No Fish Story

There are things that happen that we'd rather not share, oftentimes because it might put us in a bad light.  Maybe it's a little embarrassing and not something we're not proud to tell others.

So why a picture of Flounder today?  Because floundering was what I was doing for a few days last week.  I'll be honest and not be embarrassed.  On Thursday I received a double rejection from my editor at Harlequin American.  After seven books for HAR, I fell in the hole.

It's been that kind of year.  I should have seen it coming, but I was holding out hope.  I've been trying since June to hit on the right story.  Apparently my aim was bad.

It took me less than two days to get over it. Okay, those two days were BAD, but by late Friday I'd moved beyond and dragged out a couple of stories from under the bed.  No, not really from under the bed, just not something I'd looked at closely in the past few years.  A phone convo with one of my brainstorming buddies helped me make that final few steps to get over the Hill of Despair.  (I think I own a house there.)  I've already begun working on them and hope to have them ready by the first of January.

So where does the floundering come in?  It happens when revisions are requested and when submissions/proposals are rejected.  It happens to everyone at some time, not just writers.  It's that time--no matter how short or long--when a person doesn't know what direction to take.  Should I do this this?  Or should I do that?  And more than likely, nothing is done.

Rejections, passes, Rs, whatever anyone wants to call them, happen in the writing business.  A lot.  They hurt.  They hurt even when we tell ourselves it isn't personal.  But because our creations, our books, our stories, are pieces of our selves, it feels personal and can be painful.  Many people give up when they don't make the progress they'd envisioned.  It takes a thick skin to keep writing or creating when no one seems to care but us.

And, yes, rejections happen to everyone, at one time or another.  The key is learning how to handle them and how quickly to put an end to the floundering, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and return to forward movement, having learned something--again--the hard way.

Is it worth it?  I think so. :)

Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.  -  James Lee Burke

No comments: