Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Job Well Done

I spent a lot of this past weekend cleaning out our shed. A little noticed, neglected building in the backyard whose doors only get opened to take Drama Queen's play Jeep in and out. The shelves were half-empty while old bottles, tools, leaves, and loose change cluttered the floor. I'm hoping the extra space can house some overflow from our garage.

I say I spent a lot of the weekend, but it was probably only about 4.5 hours cumulative. Of course, it seemed a lot longer what with having to stop and make sure the kids were okay, answer the phone, fix lunch, stop Little Man from eating sand in the sand box, give baths after the trip to the sand box, put everyone down for a nap.....ad nauseum. You get the picture. But by Sunday afternoon I could look around the new organized and swept space with pride.

Unfortunately, there was no one else to really care. All that hard work and no one would really see the results. Only little old me. And, to tell you the truth, that took a little of the satisfaction out of the job.

This past week, I was disappointed to receive a rejection from an editor. Disappointed because I felt like this story was really good. Frustrated because it left me unsure whether to target that line again. But everyone assured me it was a "good" rejection. It doesn't always soothe the ego to hear that, even though it is true. Instead of a bad photocopy saying "Thank you for submitting," this lovely letter detailing the editor's take on my story's strengths and weaknesses graced nice beige stationery. Having received the former, I definitely appreciate the latter.

What does this have to do with my weekend endeavors? As pre-published writers, we often work long hours with many interruptions to produce those prized manuscripts. And as proud as we are of that stack of pristine pages, there isn't always someone there waiting to appreciate our work. A simple "Job well done" can fuel our writing journey for miles and miles.

So to the editor that rejected my proposal this past week: Thank You. I appreciate your words of advice and will certainly take them to heart. Even more, I appreciate your expressed pleasure in my writing style. It helps to know my hard work has not gone unnoticed.



Problem Child said...

First off, will you come work on my garage?

I'm very envious of your rejection letter. At least you know a REAL editor thinks you can write. And you know why that book didn't sell this time. (Just hang onto it--once you do sell, you can trot it back out and send it around again!)


Playground Monitor said...

Will you come help my husband put together the storage cabinets he bought for our garage??? I hate assembling things with him.

As much as that rejection stings, you do have that nice beige stationery that gives you a lot of information. Who knows, with the recent changes, maybe that line isn't right for you. I've heard of several authors who are going to target a different line because they think their writing will better fit somewhere else now. But tides change and in a few years the pendulum may swing back to where it was before.

By the way, while cleaning out my office closet I found a bunch of round colored stickers, some with prices pre-printed on them. Would you like them for your garage sale?

Smarty Pants said...

Where was your DH during all this? Every time I try to tackle something like this, he's lurking around, digging stuff out of the trash that I've thrown away. I can't even throw out my own stuff!

Enough of that...I know it doesn't take all the sting of an R away, but it was a great letter to get if you couldn't get one with a contract attached. Maybe a couple of tweaks and a new target like is all it needs to sell one day.


Instigator said...

I seriously need to get moving on my storage buildings. Ugh! I think I'll wait for spring.

And the rest of the playmates are absolutely correct about the R. I know it doesn't take much of the sting away right now but you definitely got a good rejection (an oxymoron if ever I've heard one). You have an excellent plan of attack and a wonderful new book to work on as well. You're gonna take NY by storm sooner than you think!