About a week ago, one of my projects was rejected again. Most of the time, I take these things in stride, but this time, it felt like a setback. This particular project keeps getting responses along the lines of "this is really good, but doesn't fit our needs at this time."
What does that even mean?
So, I gave myself a little time to feel sad and lick my wounds, then I got back to work.
On another project.
I write like I read, rarely settling on any one project. That is, in fact, one of the main reasons I can usually bounce back from rejection. When I'm not ready to move past the sting of an email that brings disappointing news, I can turn my attention to another project. This allows me not only to make progress, but also to remember why I write I the first place.
This time, I chose to pick up where I'd left off with my novel, for which I'd recently gotten a spark of inspiration (which always makes writing more fun). The more I lost myself in those characters, the less I cared about that other project not being a good fit for the (unspecified) needs of another publisher.
Because the rejection came right before our school break, I had time to bury myself in multiple projects. Blogs. An article idea I'd been tossing back and forth with a magazine editor. Familiarizing myself with the workshops, editors, and agents at an upcoming writing conference.
All of this led to more ideas, including a desire to ramp up the revisions on a novel I've been revising for longer than it took me to write the darn thing in the first place. With potential agent and editor meeting on the horizon, it would be nice to finally have it finished.
Writers rarely lack ideas. What we need more of is time and, ideally, a connection with an editor or agent who's not only as excited about our ideas as we are, but who has the wherewithal to nudge them past the roadblock of "this is really good, but doesn't fit our needs at this time."
Maybe I'll meet one of them at the conference.
Until then, I'll keep juggling my various projects. It may not be the fast track to a sale, but it definitely keeps things interesting.