NEWSFLASH: I have now accumulated three rejections – two from agents and one from a publisher I contacted in April (actually, the publisher hasn’t officially rejected me yet, they just haven’t got round to replying).
I have mixed feelings about this.
On one hand, I feel like a proper writer. I am following the path of literary giants…like Judy Blume, who originally received nothing but rejections for two years but has since gone on to sell in excess of 80 million copies: “I would go to sleep at night feeling that I’d never be published. But I’d wake up in the morning convinced I would be.”
So I am seeing this as a rite of passage.
Because in my more morose moments I do wonder whether I am a deranged lunatic to think I can do this.
At least I am getting better at handling rejection – when I received the last one a few days ago I was having a particularly bad day, so the timing could have been better (thanks universe). But after a momentary wobble, I shrugged my shoulders and emailed the next agent on my list. (Nothing like getting back on the horse as soon as you have fallen off.)
Only then I started pondering what to do next (i.e. if and when this agent rejects me too). I have lots of other ideas I want to develop. Stories that are more gentle, more light, and more, well, ‘fluffy’.
Maybe fluff is the way to go?
I love this advice from the Writer’s Handbook Guide to Writing for Children: “Follow your nature and write the book that only you can write, and see what happens”
Well, I followed my nature and sent off two manuscripts that only I could write. But I have a sneaking suspicion I didn’t follow my nature with confidence. I did it with one eye on how the world would react. And that is never a good thing. I didn’t just ‘let it rip’. Which is code for; I thought I was following my nature, but I wasn’t. I was pretending to.
That’s something I need to ponder.
In the meantime, some of my softer, lighter story ideas are calling to me. Maybe it’s time to take a second look at the slightly fluffier side to my nature?