In early December, I submitted three chapters of a manuscript (For the Love of Hope) and a synopsis to a Carina Press Open Proposal call. This particular book is the first in a series about four brothers. Being the quasi-pessimist that I am, a large part of me suspected the manuscript wouldn’t get a nod, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been hopeful.
Last spring when I submitted to the Harlequin Blitz (my first ever submission), yeah, I was disappointed when it was rejected, but I was over the moon when the editor also included a mini-critique and offered some valuable advice and suggestions. Maybe if Carina Press had offered some insight as to why my manuscript wasn’t what they were looking for or how I could improve, the rejection wouldn’t have stung quite so badly.
But I’m sure they’d gotten a boatload of submissions they needed to review in twelve weeks time. One word of advice included was that all editors have different tastes therefore my story might be exactly what another editor wanted even though it wasn’t that particular editor’s cup of tea.
At least that was a little encouraging.
Since I’ve been writing since my teenage years, stopping all these years later isn’t what I want to do. Sure, getting a rejection is deflating, but it shouldn’t be defeating. If it were, we probably wouldn’t be given the chance to read some of our most favorite author’s works.
That would be a shame.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get published. Currently, I have twenty-five pages of another manuscript entered in a contest. It’s one I entered in a previous contest where I received three reviews, two of which were very encouraging and one that wasn’t spectacular but offered some good insight and constructive suggestions (which I incorporated before entering the latest contest). I am anxious to get the feedback from the judges in this particular contest. To compare with the other contest, for sure, but also anything to help me to improve.
Presently, I am editing the first forty thousand words of a brand new manuscript. It’s not finished. As I near the point where new words will need to be written, I’m beginning to be overwhelmed with doubts and worry. What’s the point? Am I good enough to become a published author? Am I wasting my time when there are so many other “life” things I could/should be doing? Am I too old to pursue this dream I’ve had for nearly forty years?
But I had those same thoughts, concerns, and worries before I ever received a rejection email. Maybe as a result of Friday’s, sorry, but your manuscript is not what we’re looking for at this time, I’m a bit more over-sensitized on the matter. Second guessing and doubting everything. Boy, if I could make a career out of that, I’d be a millionaire!!
I don’t write to become rich though. Not that it wouldn’t be a much-appreciated bonus, but mainly I write because it’s what I love to do. Being published would definitely be a dream come true, and I do hope that someday it will happen. And I know for that dream to become a reality, I have to keep writing. Keep doing whatever I can to improve. And keep submitting.
As I told one of my writer friends, it’s like the lottery – you gotta play to win. I just hope the odds aren’t as stacked against us fledgling writers being published as winning the millions seems to be.
Regardless though, we must Write On!!