|'No' means 'Go' in my writing world.|
Do you like to hear the word 'no'? Me, either.
But I heard it last week from a publisher who sent me a form rejection for my novel. "Oh shit," I said when I saw the self-addressed, stamped envelope on the dining room table. My heart sank a little. I didn't have to open the thing to know what was inside.
A form rejection.
Fuck it. Just means the publisher wasn't a right fit. It might mean that the book's no damn good, but one opinion contrary to what first readers have said doesn't mean 'boo'.
This is the attitude, now. I'm gonna find a home for this book. It's good. I know it is. It still needs some massaging but hey, what book by what author doesn't? Even the big time authors and their publishers aren't perfect. Remember I said that nothing is? Well, that applies to all work in all areas of society.
So I sent a query out, waiting to hear back on that one. In the meantime, I've got other books to finish editing, others to start writing. Time to double down, put my nose to the grindstone (jeez, how many tired cliches can I use?) and - as Chuck Wendig says - 'finish my shit'.
I realized I was holding my breath, waiting to hear back from the publisher. I'm still new enough at this that I stopped working effectively while the book was out on the street. It'll take some getting used-to, I'm sure, but I need to forget the thing's out there when it's out there. I need to focus on the project in front of me, and completing that, and not worry if someone else is going to like my stuff.
Someone will. I just have to keep trying.
And when that next SASE comes back or that email notification dings, I'll have a plan for the next try.