07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Monday, December 23, 2013

Overheard on . . . Romancing the Genres

“I didn’t get in to Hedgebrook.”

The kindly written rejection email reminded me of the many I have received querying agents and editors. Ah…. The joy of being a new, unknown, author. The thrill of finishing that first manuscript is quickly replaced with the utter despondence of getting rejection after rejection.

Very soon we begin to wonder why we ever thought we could write, whether it is even worth it, what our back-up plan should be. Our self-esteem plummets and our freezer is emptied of any form of chocolate ice cream (including the pint that was stuck in the back because the last time we looked it had ice on the surface.) This dear reader is the glamour that is writing for the great majority of your favorite authors.

But, people needn’t be a writer to understand what this feels like. Entire books are written about the college rejection letter. I know fellow graduate students who lined their bedroom walls with rejection letters from prospective companies. And we won’t even speak of the horrors of being rejected for prom.
Rejection is a great crocodile waiting to snap whenever we put ourselves out there. And still somehow we find the courage to leap.

This courage in each of us deserves a toast. So on New Year’s Eve this year I will raise my cup to each of you… author or student or athelete. I’ll especially raise it to the fantastic debut authors who will spotlighted here in January.

Like Brenna Aubrey, whose book, AT ANY PRICE, was just released. Or like Traci Andrighetti who wrote the fun escapade, LEMONCELLO YELLOW, and had me at Lemoncello.

We are all authors of some form, and as they said in my rejection from the writer in residence program, “Sending work into the world is an act of bravery…”

Indeed! So please come back in January to applaud the drive within each of these debut authors that had them hurdling the many obstacles, swallowing the many critiques, and sending their work out into the world so that you and I could enjoy it.
Best wishes for a courageous and outrageous 2013.

Journeys Inspired by Love


Sarah Raplee said...

I can totally relate to this post, Deanne, LOL! I bet everyone elsse can, too.

I'll join you in your cyber-toast on New Year's Eve. Success rarely comes without great many rejections. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and all that.

We do have an awesome lineup of debut authors in January, don't we?

Maggie Lynch said...

Sorry to hear about Hedgebrook, Deanne. I'm sure they have lots and lots of applications.

You are absolutely right that rejection is a part of life. Though it sucks when it happens, I actually see it in a positive light. It is an expression of differences. Just like not every prom date is perfect for a particular person, in the same way not every reader, writing retreat, editor or publisher is the best fit.

Our world is filled with differences and that is a really beautiful part of life. How boring would it be if everyone agreed what was perfect and beautiful and that was all that was allowed in life? How horrific would it be if the rules for the perfect book were set and all you had to do was follow them to be accepted?

I applaud the many differences and those who have faith in their own path to beauty, to meaning, to their own best book. To me, it is not brave to withstand rejection. It is brave to keep on going in the face of it and to have an internal belief that your path is the right one.

Write on.

Deanne said...

Thanks Maggie and Sarah. I was sad, but they said there were over 1500 applicants and only 40 spots... so that is the way it goes. Instead I'm working on my own residency program in England... tracking down the places for my next novel. Lemoncello out of lemons!

Your kind words and support means so much. And Maggie, I love your sentiment and agree whole-heartedly. Each path deserves its own spotlight. Glad to share my path with you both.

Judith Ashley said...

I'm not even sure I want to live in a world where everything falls into my lap. Well, maybe not so much at this point in my life. Currently I'm very open to it being easy and effortless - but rejection, having to work for what we want - those are good things although it doesn't feel that way at the time.

RTG has great debut authors next month. I will join you in lifting a glass to them and their success!