When I started searching for an agent and/or a publisher in early 2009 (actually sent out my first query on Xmas, 2008), I was prepared for the R word...REJECTION.
I've had plenty of it...a long time back, I realized that finding one of these was like finding work. There's legwork, searching, emailing, crafting the killer query letter, then doing it again and again ad nauseum...there are a lot of people all too ready to say no, but often it is done with good reason.
I have probably some 250 rejection letters, notes, emails, etc., and I expect I will have more. The most recent came yesterday; a certain publisher my agent was working with came back with a shoot-down, but I must thank them for taking the time to consider what I've been working on and to offer constructive criticism.
I did not get the Simon Cowell response, thankfully. No, I got some things I already knew about, and a bit more.
Armed with it, I am going back to work on Sweet Dreams: Searching for Roy Buchanan. Rewrite time, yet again!
After a few months of not even looking at the manuscript, I now realize there's, as my friend Alice says, "fresh eyes" for it.
So far, much of what I've done is tighten things up, wordwise, and other related stuff. I have more to do to push the story along...it meanders at times, not good.
I worked through seven chapters last night, and was up til 2 am. Thankfully, I don't work today...well, not work that makes me money (yet).
Part of you feels a bit down when this happens, but let me give you a bit of advice: as someone who has spent years dealing with rejection from everyone and everything in life (we all have, you know), you need to keep moving forward.
I again am facing this sucker head on, and I am going to make this series better. To borrow an old friend and colleague's phrase, "that's it, that's all."
I refuse to be defeated.
I have not come all this way in four years, to write all that I have to have someone tell me it isn't good enough. If not yet, it will be.
That being said...I'm also trying to finish the first edit of "Silk Road Days." That one needs work, I know...but right now I have to get back to the first one, the one that started this wild ride of mine.
Remember it's okay to listen to critics, you just have to know who is telling you the truth and who is giving you shit. You can tell.
That said, I'm off to Chapter 8 and beyond...