A little while ago, I sat down to blog about the rejection letter I received yesterday. One that really hurt. But, as is not terribly uncommon for me, I got caught up in reading emails. In short, I got sidetracked.
I had set out to thin out my inbox, but in the process, I came across a blog by Michael Hyatt. A guest post by Geoff Talbot, actually, that encouraged people to write about their disappointments. Which led me back to just where I had started.
So, you see, it's all their fault. I tried to spare you. I really did. But Mr. Hyatt and Mr. Talbot had other ideas.
My agent forwarded the email in question to me last evening. Funny, because I'd just been wondering about the status of this particular submission. The one that got rejected.
The rejection wasn't mean or spiteful or even tacky. In fact, it offered the editor's constructive criticism with specific examples and a helpful tone.
What it didn't offer was a contract, or the promise of a career as a writer. Where was the opportunity I had longed for and let myself believe was just around the corner? Where was the validation of my talent, the words of encouragement that would send me back to my computer, dying to write that next chapter?
That's a tall stack of hope for a thin piece of paper. No wonder I was disappointed.
In fairness, some of those things were there. The editor opened with what I did well. It was the rest of the letter that dashed my hopes.
This is part of the game. I understand that. But at what point does a writer admit that she's a minor league player, and that the majors are out of reach?
I'm well-aware that I'm in the wallowing in self-pity stage - I know it well. And I know just as well that after a few days pass, I will re-read that well-intentioned letter and decide what I think has merit, and what I think does not. I'll discuss it with friends - the kind who'll tell me the truth because that's the only thing that will make me a better writer. And I will try to remember that this is only one person's opinion - a knowledgeable and experienced person, to be sure, but still, just one person. And while I'm unable to pull myself up by my bootstraps just yet (due in part to the fact that it's May and I'm wearing flip flops), I'll hold out hope that some day in the not-too distant future, I'll be able to do just that.
Meanwhile, I'll be on the sofa, wallowing. And checking email.