This morning I received an e-mail from the London literary agency who’d requested that exclusive for EFFIN’ ALBERT. The 30-day mark had come and gone, without word. Finally, yesterday morning, I bit the bullet and sent a brief e-mail to the agency, asking about the status. Since then, I’ve been on pins and needles, trying to steel myself against the inevitable rejection I knew was coming, even as I clung desperately to a tiny seed of hope.
This morning, I had my answer. They’d read the manuscript “with interest,” but it “wasn’t right for our list.” I can’t–
I can’t be devastated, no way, not in light of that awful plane crash in the French Alps the other day. To suggest that I’m devastated, when families right now are facing the worst nightmare possibly imaginable, would be absolutely abhorrent on my part. There is no comparison between receiving a manuscript rejection and receiving news that your loved ones just–
No, not devastated. Not even close. I’ll stick with ‘disappointed.’
When you write a novel and try to get it published, disappointment is part of the package. Hope and rejection seem ladled out arbitrarily; often, unequally; sometimes, unfairly. It’s a fickle business–I’ve said that before–and not for the faint of heart. *sigh* So, disappointed. And sad. And ashamed, which surprises me and which I hesitate to admit. But the truth is, I do feel shame right now. I failed to get an offer, ergo, I’m a failure and now everybody knows it.
IF I post this thing.
I will post this thing. My little tag line for this blog is, on writing and figuring it all out, yeah. That’s what I’m doing and this, right here, is part of the process. I have to figure out what’s next for me. Do I dwell, or do I get proactive, start sending out queries again? Or should I hang it up, succumb to the idea that maybe my stuff isn’t commercial enough, isn’t good enough?
I already know my answer. I’m going to keep trying. Each of us, all of us, will find ourselves at a crossroads at some point in our lives. A choice will loom and the decision we make will influence the rest of our lives, for better or for worse. That decision is ours alone to make–a solitary endeavor, but we all share the reality of that and in that regard, we’re all in the same boat, tossed on a tumultuous sea, seeking safe harbor and welcoming arms. Sometimes, that’s all we want. Sometimes, we want more than that. We may want something so badly we can taste it but nothing’s guaranteed. So we have to do what’s best, each one of us, for our own selves.
For me, that means reveling in my misery a little while longer, lamenting today’s perceived failure. I’ll indulge, and then I’ll count my blessings. I get a second chance. I can always try again tomorrow.
Some folks aren’t that lucky.