I’ve been doing the writing gig for over 22 years now and you’d think I’d have gotten used to rejections. Writing for publication is not for the faint at heart. You have to develop a thick skin and learn to accept rejection, it just comes with the territory.
But every single time, it still stings.
I am now back to square one with my book. I did the right thing and gave the publisher who was reviewing my manuscript eight weeks to consider it. Then yesterday I e-mailed them and asked if it was still under consideration, only to be told that they had decided not to publish any memoir-type books at all. Admittedly, as far as rejections go, it was a good one~ she liked the book and thought it had merit but they were no longer considering publishing that type of book. However, I do wonder when were they going to tell me that? If I hadn’t e-mailed, when would I have heard from them? A week? Two weeks? Two months?
I was devastated when I got that final “No.” I even shed a tear or two. I’d put too much hope into this particular publishing company. They were just branching out from mostly medically oriented books into accepting other types, including memoir. I’d worked with them before and trusted them. I was ecstatic to see that they were considering memoirs and excited they had asked for my manuscript within a few hours of my query. I thought they’d be a good fit. And they would be, if only they were publishing that sort of book. Which evidently, they won’t be.
This past year has been one long push and pull with my emotions. First, getting a book contract in February and then the months of editing and re-working the manuscript, with the fruition of my labors in a finished product and a release date set. Then gradually came the niggling doubts about that publisher and a growing realization that an inferior publisher could actually be worse than no publisher at all. After signing a termination agreement in September I slipped somewhat into a real funk, feeling more and more anxiety as that November 1st date approached. It was only because I had someone else looking at my manuscript (and the surprise party my husband and children so kindly planned for me) that I got through that day.
And now I have to pick myself up off the ground, dust myself off, and start all over again.
This time I will be concentrating on finding an agent, someone in the business who can get their feet into doors that are closed to unagented writers, and someone who would know how to avoid any potential problems.
Last night I printed off my book proposal and saw how much I will have to update it, considering it is a year old and was written before my book was completed. And I pulled out my old files and looked for any agent letters I had written and now, this morning, I am hard at work at crafting a good query letter. Next I will tackle updating the proposal.
And by the end of the week, I’ll have sent out at least one query.
Because rejection can equal dejection. If I let it.
Or it can mean determination. Because right now I am using the impetus of another rejection to force myself to find an agent, and not just any agent, but the right agent for me.
I’ll let you know how that goes.