Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Baby is Ugly!!

No, not that baby. AC is as beautiful and amazing as ever. It’s my other baby. My book baby.
Okay, so maybe she isn’t ugly…but she’s just not pretty enough.

Yep, I’ve been rejected. That book that I stressed over back in the Spring trying to rewrite has come back, unwanted and rejected, ugly and unloved.

Sob. Sigh. Whimper. Sniff.

I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t hurt. Of course it does. It hurts like hell. Rejection makes you want to crawl into the corner and sob. It’s frustrating. It’s demoralizing. It makes you question both your talent and your sanity.

And then you try again.

The Playfriends, my CP, Counselor Shelley and some Honorary Playfriends allowed me the weekend to wallow. As of Monday morning, they expected me back up and on the computer. The sympathy and cyber chocolate dry up after 48 hours, you know. After a weekend spent licking my wounds, I’m recovering. Now that the initial shock and horror have passed, I can look at the rejection letter beyond, “Thank you for submitting, but...”

You know what? There’s some comfort to be found in that rejection letter. Nowhere does the letter say, “You suck. Please find another hobby to occupy your time.” Instead, it said my writing was “quite engaging.” The letter was personal, giving me reasons why the book didn’t work (And none of them were, “You suck; please stop submitting to us”).

This book may have been rejected, but I wasn’t. I can submit something new. I don’t suck. An editor told me so.

I can live with that.

How do you deal with disappointment? Chocolate? Booze? Gut-wrenching sobs? Howling at the moon?


~~Down, but not out~~


Sabe said...

Your baby is NOT ugly! She just wasn't right for that particular editor at that particular time. And at least you didn't get the dreaded single paragraph, "not right for our line, etc." You got an actual, personal letter -- which is something feel good about. I know from experience -- I've gotten both kinds, and believe me, the personal letter is much better for the ego. Hang in there, PC, you've got talent and lots of it. It won't be long before some editor realizes what I've known all along.

Playground Monitor said...

You mean those chair cushions you bought on Saturday didn't ease the pain? And that ginormous sandwich at Schlotsky's?

Ouch! Stop throwing things at me.

I tend to retreat into a hole when faced with disappointment. I just want to be left alone to lick my wounds and heal. Don't offer me chocolate or wine or try to make me laugh with funny jokes. Just let me brood for a bit and then I'll get over it.

Everybody says you have to develop thick skin in this business but I'm not sure there's skin thick enough to repel the hurt of rejection. It's gonna sting regardless. I suppose the real test is whether you pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start all over again.

I have a new lint roller if you need to borrow it. *grin*

I also have no doubt you'll emerge from this even stronger than before.

Chin up, young person!

Linda Winstead Jones said...

Hugs PC. Rejection is ugly, not your baby.

I'm like PM when it comes to rejection. I go into a dark hole and don't speak. Leave me alone. Leave that chocolate, too, while you're at it. Fortunately I shake it off pretty quickly. A little wallowing goes a long way, and then I'm done.

More hugs.


Smarty Pants said...

Since I was sick this past weekend and unavailable to console you, feel free to call me this weekend if you want to do some additional wallowing with some real chocolate and real booze.

The way I react, I guess, is in direct correlation to how far I get. If I get rejected right off the bat, ouch, but ok. If I get rejected further down the road, it should hurt less cause I've gotten that much farther, but I'm sure it stings the worst. It carries the "almost had it" sting. I shouldn't, but I'm prepared for it to come. Some may have a SOLD basket ready for the call, but what I need is a rejection basket, complete with stuff to scoop me off the floor if I get another one.

Positive thinking, eh?

Rhonda said...

PC, you're baby wasn't ugly! Your baby was compelling, witty and well-written. You are a FABULOUS writer. You WILL sell. It's just a matter of getting the right thing in at the right time. I know it sounds trite, but...

As for how I handle rejection. Typically I get pissed off, then hurt, then I need to hide in a cave like PM for a little while, and then after I have managed to affirm my own worth once more, I need friends with chocolate and booze. I wouldn't mind a cabana boy as well, but... :-)

Playground Monitor said...

Oh yeah! I completely forgot about the cabana boy. Or boys. :grin:


Kathy said...

I know at a time like this you don't want to hear that everything happens for a reason. But I do want to remind you that with your drive, your creativity, your love for the work, you can do nothing but... succeed. Never let anyone, not even yourself, convince you otherwise. No piece of paper can control you, your self-esteem, or your talent. While the words on the paper sting and their offering prolongs your ascent up the ladder just a little longer, never lose sight of the fact that you will reach the top rung. It is only a matter of time!

Destiny calls you, PC! Can you hear your name whispered in the breeze? PC! PC! Do you feel destiny's touch? It's featherlight caress soothes, strengthens, bids your return to the force.

You are at the threshold. You are ever closer to victory. Dare to step forward once again with optimism and a complete belief that you will succeed.

Much love to you, my friend.

Angel said...

I usually sink into a really ugly mood for several days where I just want to be left alone with a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts. Somehow my family hasn't gotten the message yet.

I'm glad you wrote and worked on another story while this one was out. I really think that helps a lot, because then all the eggs aren't in the one basket that got rejected. It becomes that little glimmer of hope in the darkness of being rejected. At least for me.

Chin up, sweetie!


Problem Child said...

The cabana boy! That's what I was missing!

Counsselor Shelley informed me that I wasn't delusional in thinking I could write--after all, she's trained to recognize delusional.

Instigator said...

Of course you're not delusional!! I've read your stuff. You're wonderful. I'd buy your book anytime - and not just cause I know you either :-)

When I get rejected I hold everything inside. Which is much worse than having a good cry with good friends over good booze while eating better chocolate. I try really hard not to let it hurt but it always does.

Count me in for booze and chocolate this weekend!


Maven Linda Howard said...

Well, damn.

Okay, that's it for the sympathy. Now suck it up and get back out there. (If you think that's bad, I play cards with a very dear friend who has had breast cancer twice. She would play cards inbetween chemo sessions. Once she got trounced and pulled out the "I've got cancer, for crying out loud, the least y'all could do is let me win!" gambit, to which everyone said, "This is CARDS, so stop whining!"

One thing, though: that personal rejection letter. The reasons the editor gave for the rejection -- is there any way you could take those things and maybe even amplify them, expand a bit, make this ms more, say . . . single title? At any rate, don't throw it away!