Image by [blu:]skin via FlickrI've been sitting here trying to slog through an old manuscript of mine, one that I thought I had "finished" last summer, one that I had been heart-broken over it's rejection by my editor a few months ago.
She took six months before calling me and saying "I don't think that this is a good follow-up book for you." Fortunately, at the time, I was knee deep in my WIP (the companion book to EDGES and the one I'm waiting for my agent's editorial letter. Edward, if you are reading this, hint, hint!) and didn't start beating up on the "rejected" one right away.
My editor called to tell me this as I was on my way to the monthly Writers 4 Writers lunch, proving to be the perfect venue for shedding a tear, for these women had all been through it. "What? Send it to another editor!" They all cried. But thoughts immediately went to my grandmother, whose Wrinkle in Time, legend has it, was rejected 17 times! Did she send out the same manuscript over and over again? No, she reworked it each time, and that's what I would do.
But first I had to finish my WIP, hand it into my agent, and move to the suburbs, you know, little things.
So here I am blogging and procrastinating from reading the old manuscript, GRATEFUL that it was rejected. The characters need deepening, it needs restructuring. It's plot driven! Oh the scandal!
Rejection is God's protection - a dorky creed I say to myself to remind me not to take things (too) personally. It also implies that there is a reason for everything, which I believe most of the time, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, you know? Sometimes amazing work is rejected and there's no reason for it. But this manuscript is not amazing, and I know that I can do better, and that I need to keep slogging - I mean writing and working on it as I do on myself.
I don't think that I'm alone in being a writer who has highs and lows regarding their work. I'll have a writing session one day and feel on top of the world about it, and then come back the next day and scratch my head. This was good? So I'm probably just being especially hard and unforgiving of my manuscript, the baby I worked on for a year of my life . . . but what's another year?
And in the meantime I can look forward to the release of EDGES and be proud that I am putting the best work that I can out there. My gratitude list is immense!