In what has become a trifecta of crappy days, I got another rejection today that pretty much sank my battleship. It indicated that, although I had a rich setting, they couldn’t “connect” with the main character.
Apparently this book is an epic fail.
We’re up to 43 submissions, 17 of which are rejections. Two are still under consideration. The rest haven’t responded.
I don’t even know what to do at this point. Okay, I guess there are three choices:
- Give up (tempting)
- Publish it myself and just forget about this whole submission thing (marginally tempting)
- Completely revise it and try again (recommended by the latest rejector and just…basically depressing to me)
Not helping this conundrum is the fact that my driveway washed away this week. Literally, washed away.
Let’s set the scene:
So, on Wednesday, we got some rain. I get up at 5:45 in the morning, have some cereal, and then hop into the car of all cars, the best vehicle ever made by vehicle manufacturers: The 2003 Chevy Cavalier. It’s a tank. A beast. Groundhogs have eaten the wiring harness; deer have bounced off the front hood: this baby’s still going.
When I left for work, it was sprinkling. In between my arrival at work at 6:55am and The Hubs text at 11:42am, and completely unbeknownst to me, Storm-aggedon hit and the very driveway I drove across but hours prior, washed away. And when I say washed away, what I mean is the pipe that allows the creek to flow under the driveway was wrenched out from under the driveway, and 90% of the driveway collapsed.
See that little strip of flat surface? Currently, that’s how I scamper up the driveway: I park at the bottom, stroll down the hill, cross the little strip of what I assume is crumbling earth while simultaneously emitting this weird, “nuuuuuuurrrrrr” sound while bracing for impact, and then hike a quarter-mile up the rest of the driveway.
My cankle muscles are intense.
Looking down on the destruction as I run, it looks like a sinkhole. Everything is just falling into the creek. And my brain says, “Dude, how safe was it to be driving over that pipe in a CAR if it just washed away like a turd in a river?”
And then my brain says, “You have lived in the country far too long if that’s the first metaphor you come up with, weirdo.”
Then the next day, we got news of a family member with a colossally serious illness.
Then the next day, one of the publishers who’d requested my novel rejected it. Crap week trifecta.
Then today, one of the publishers who’d requested my novel that I was really, really excited would accept it….didn’t. And further depressed me by saying the best character I thought I’d ever written was…not connective. Does that mean dull? Does that mean flat?
I swear, if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
In the grand scheme of things and in comparison to my driveway washing away/serious family illnesses, another book rejection is just that: another book rejection. It’s not the first, it’s not the last. And yes, I probably sound a lot more confident than I’m currently feeling. Currently I feel like a bad writer who ate way too many desserts at The Hub’s annual family reunion today. And I consumed those desserts before I got the rejection in my email box, so yeah, self-control was actually at its peak today. Its peak!
Oh, and ew, my awkward bodice sunburn is peeling off my right wrist. It looks like some kind of creeping crud, as my late father would say. So not only am I a bad writer who ate way too many desserts, but I’m a bad writer who ate too many desserts and apparently has mange.
Here’s what I’m thinking is going to happen: First I’m going to get aloe for my wrist because, ew. Then I’m going to just focus my attention on Manuscript II, because I’m pretty stoked with it right now. I texted my mother, lamenting about my ongoing rejection/fragile self-esteem and said:
Me: Maybe I’m just not meant to write historical fiction. Maybe I love history too much.
My Mother: Stop it. Don’t let someone else’s opinion take the joy out your writing.
It’s true, guys. History makes me happy. Anything You Ask of Me makes me happy. It apparently doesn’t make any agents or small press publishers happy, but I guess that’s okay. I guess it has to be okay, kind of like the driveway. Yes, it’s a disaster. Yes, it’s frustrating. But…it’ll all work out in the end. Somehow. Eventually. And if it doesn’t, I told The Hubs we’re either putting in a rope swing or a pole vault.
So there. I guess that’s what I have to do with my writing: pole vault over rejection and just get over it. Move on and try again. Or go back, revise, and try again. I’m still not sure what the best course of action is, but maybe after I work on Manuscript II for a while, I’ll go back to Anything You Ask of Me and have a better idea. Or not.
Okay, lament over. Thanks for listening.