In the world of writing, one of the dreaded chores is submitting. Whether it's a simple query letter (or is that an oxymoron?), a proposal, a partial, or the exhilaration resulting from a request for a full manuscript, you're still left relying on the decision of someone else. And, odds are, given the percentages of acceptances in the business, you're going to have to deal with a dreaded rejection letter.
Right now, I'm waiting to hear from one publisher about a full manuscript submission, and from my agent about a new proposal. To avoid stressing, I'm also back to working on my 4th Blackthorne novel (although that's stress enough, since it's book number 3 that I'm waiting to hear about). I'm a little over 200 pages into it, and I'm still a non-plotter. Yesterday was one of those two steps forward, three steps back days. However, even though I'm writing 'on spec', with no guarantee of a sale, I find even a day of frustrating writing is better than a day of not writing at all.
As followers of the 'real life' portion of this blog might recall, we've been renovating and remodeling our house. Whereas the upper floor was a simple matter of swapping out existing materials, downstairs, we're converting a basement that's basically one large L-shaped room with a bathroom and laundry area into functional living space, including a tv room, an exercise area for those snowy days, and a dedicated guest room.
Since we lacked either the vision or expertise to tackle the design job, we hired an architect, who drew up plans. Next step: find someone who could translate the blueprints into actual rooms. With walls. Wiring. Plumbing.
We needed bids from contractors – which, to continue a writing analogy, would be the equivalent of requesting full manuscripts. We wanted three. One contractor never got back to us. The other two submitted bids that looked very similar at the bottom line.
After a few back-and-forths, we managed to get enough details from each contractor so that we were comparing apples to apples and could make what we hoped would be an intelligent, and "right" decision.
Now we're faced with what agents and editors must do on a daily basis—perhaps dozens of times. I'm talking rejection. Yep, because although Hubster and I agreed on which contractor we thought would do the better job, neither of us is particularly looking forward to having to call the other to say, "Sorry."
It's not easy to get the rejection letter, but maybe the agent or editor didn't find it easy to write it.
Causes Terry Odell Supports
Pro Literacy Worldwide, The Nature Conservancy, The Adult Literacy League, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society