I've started the submission process for my novel. Already I'm steeling myself for the rejections. But it's part of the biz and I'm ok with that.
What is different this time around is this: I've recently lost a lot in my life. My marriage, my now ex-husband (who was also my best friend), my status as a wife, my being part of a whole family - it's gone. And while I feel like I'm coping with that just fine (there are good and bad days), I have always had my writing to help me through it. It's been a big, solid rock for me on the days I want to just forget about the emotional turmoil in my mind and lose myself in my characters' story.
Now I'm letting that part of me out into the world. And with the recent losses I've experienced, I don't know if I'm ready to handle another loss - of those in the industry rejecting my work.
It's a strange dimension to inhabit. On one hand, I am excited about sending the manuscript off to prospective agents. On the other, I want to cling to it for dear life. Why? Because if the "rock" of my writing is shattered by rejection, how will I handle it with all the other losses I've endured?
But I already have an answer to this question. I will handle it with prayer, with support from others, and with acceptance. There is no other way. Despite any personal difficulties in my life, the publishing business isn't for the faint of heart, and I can't expect to be treated with kid gloves simply because I've gone through a hard time. We've all experienced the dark clouds of life. And it only makes us stronger.
So I'm not going to keep my novel on my hard drive where it's "safe" - instead, I'm sending it out into the world. I'll deal with whatever answers come my way. In the meantime, new ideas are percolating. New characters are beginning to form. And I can once again lose myself in their world.
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