Thursday, October 23, 2014

Back in the Slush Pile Again: Subjection Lesson 1

You know how when you have a bad day, everything else seems to go wrong. Your hot water ran out and then you found a hole in your sock and then it started to rain and water seeped into your shoes, making your bare toe chilly. Or your baby spit up on you as you were walking out the door and ran around the entire day with smudged sour milk on your clothes and the smell was enough to make you vomit.

I kind of had a day like that last week. I re-entered the world of agents and non-TMP presses. And I wasn't a fool. I knew doing this would set me up for rejection. Sure, I have 6 books under my belt and an Amazon Best Selling boxed set but I know this business. It is subjective.

And I prepared myself for rejections, even repeating the mantra, every "No brings me closer to a Yes". But that small part of myself dreamed. Hoped. And pretended what my life would be like or how I'd react if I received a Yes. Hey, I'm a writer. We're supposed to pretend!

I'm not sure I could prepare myself for 4 rejections in one day. Is there a club? A special hand-shake? Club jackets? Because how else do you explain 4 rejections in 1 day! Wow! Now, you add that to the additional 2 rejections already marked on this project. Sure, 6 spread out over the course of a few months, I could handle.

If you're not a writer, you may not understand this but I literally went to my basement, which is really nice, and cried. Not throw myself down on the floor tantrum, just silent tears where you imagine your life without writing. Where I ran through all the reasons to quit. Where every failure you've had comes crashing down.

But if you are a writer, you know what I did next.

After I dried my face. I picked myself up and became more determined to not let this one step get me down. Instead of burying myself in a pity hole, I dusted away the carnage and felt...inspired. Because as a writer, we heal ourselves with writing. We can deal with the death of a loved one in our writing. We can overcome the fear of failing through our writing. We share our love of life in our writing. And that is exactly what I'm doing.

I can't imagine how easy life is for an agent or a publisher. They are overwhelmed with countless pitches and they, the agent or pub house may have a particular project in mind. I know, that's not fair and we aren't mind readers. But that is the way the business is and once you realize that, you will be a stronger person.

Submissions are subjective. You're writing might be superb and the story fantastic, but if it isn't what they are looking for, then they will pass. It is that simple and as a writer, you need to add this knowledge to your armor.

Are you in the slush? Have any tips on submissions? Share. We like sharing!

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