Writing is such a rollercoaster. Last week saw a big rejection on a project that looked very promising. I plunged. Gnashed. Wailed. All that sort of thing. Then by Wednesday I was more philosophical. There were many reasons that the mss could have been rejected and the quality of the stories was only one of them. Climbing again. Thursday, an email arrived from another publisher talking about a potential illustrator for a picture book project. The portfolio illustrations are wonderful. Soaring to the top. Not signed yet. Just a maybe. But a fine maybe.
On Saturday we had our winter SCBWI afternoon, featuring two member speakers and a representative from the Society of Editors. Our two member speakers talked about their experiences in the industry. Each had a quite different way to keep them on track. One of the members kept a folder of all achievements, no matter their size. When she feels low, she looks through it and reminds herself of the journey. The other keeps a file of rejections, also recording the journey as the outright rejections become revision requests and eventually acceptances.
I and two others had arrived earlier for a pre-meeting. Amongst the many topics discussed we talked about rejection and whether it gets easier to take. My experience is that no, rejection doesn’t get any easier. What changes though is the time it takes to bounce back. I bounce back to feeling okay much more quickly than I did when I started writing. I can move on, whether that’s to send that ms out again quickly or to acknowledge that more work is required. Either way, I’m back on track sooner.
And that’s the seatbelt.