The Sun Rises on a New Day

So many thoughts, so little time.

That should be my mantra.

But I am doing much more than thinking. I’ve been working harder than ever these past few months, which is a very poor (but the only one I have) excuse for ignoring my blog.

I think that my efforts lately have crystallized my understanding of much of the advice I’ve heard over the years about writing, the publishing industry, finding success as a writer, etc. I’ll give you three quick stories:

1. After receiving much LOVE regarding the concept and the writing of my first novel from specific agents and editors, two of the people who expressed the most interest recently have passed on taking me on as a client. I’m still awaiting word from a couple other agents but as experience has shown me, I may not hear for months or at all. I have received some feedback which may help me with yet another revision, which my writing buddies are encouraging me to consider; I’m not ready to consider considering right now. I’m working on two new writing projects and am enjoying working on both, so I’m taking time off from novel #1 for the time being.

2. I recently read an amazing novel manuscript, written by a friend I met at a conference in December. Her writing is brilliant, her story fascinating, her characters well-rounded and quirky enough for my taste. This is a book that I would recommend to my mother (the most well-read person in America) and to tons of others, BUT she is having difficulty getting an agent to take her on. We all know the stories of famous writers (JK Rowling, anyone?) who were rejected time and again before their books were published; still, every rejection feels like a swift kick in the gut, one that could land you in the hospital. Is traditional publishing worth the effort when they publish books written by celebrities because they make money but reject the beautiful work of people like my friend? Don’t know BUT I’m confident that this novel will get published, hopefully sooner rather than later.

3. Another friend, who wrote a moving memoir about the impact of her unique role in 9/11, was in the process of signing a contract with Borders’ new publishing company weeks before they went under, and has finally put the book back out there (after making the revisions that she deemed necessary). A well-respected agent has voiced genuine interest in her story but keeps putting off the promised phone call for the two of them to discuss the book. I think the agent really is doing her best to juggle all the balls she has in the air and hasn’t been able to connect with my friend yet, but my friend is left in limbo, not knowing whether to “fish or cut bait” or continue in limbo. [BREAKING NEWS: Agent got back to her. Now we wait, excitedly. If everybody could think good thoughts for her, I know it would help.]

If I were a normal person, I think I would be crawling under my covers and hiding there until who knows when, but all of this rejection and disappointment has sent me deeper into these two projects and made me feel even better about my ability as a writer. That makes little sense except for the fact that when I am writing, I know that I am a writer. I feel it in my bones. When I am waiting, I feel like a waiter (not one who gets tips, either.)

So life goes on. And I move forward. And I love my work. So yay for that!

Sara

Sara

I write about daily life, arts & culture, food, books, nature, animals, parenting, relationships, self-discovery, & more.

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19 thoughts on “The Sun Rises on a New Day

  1. Rejection sucks. I haven’t even gotten to the point where rejection is possible, so I’m happy for you that you have gotten to that point at all and I’m happy to hear that you’re working on projects that you’re excited about. It’s so important to keep going.

    I know I’m cheering for you from the sidelines πŸ™‚

    1. I appreciate the support. I’m amazed at how much a person’s encouragement impacts my confidence in moving forward. I was telling some friends last night that I haven’t felt so inspired to write as I feel right now with all of these new projects in their early phases.

  2. Yes, we just have to keep on keeping on, seeking that one influential person who will love our work enough to champion it. I cling to the following quote from Chris Baty: “Your voice is important, and your stories matter. Someone has waited their entire life to read the book you are writing.”
    Hang in there, Sara!

  3. Thank you for sharing your encouraging, inspiring, (and challenging) experience! Best wishes AND prayers to you and your friend in #3! When you know you are meant to do something, you “feel it in your bones”. You say “this is what I am made for”. We all need encouragement and perseverance to continue on in performing the unique gifts given to each of us.
    Thank you for the encouragement that you have given to me today! I say to you and all of us:
    “Keep on keep’n on!”

    1. The best advice ever. Can’t get anywhere if you don’t keep moving toward the place you want to go. Glad to hear from you; it’s been awhile. Hope you and yours are well.

  4. Glad to see that you keep on keepin’ on. Sometimes I think that’s harder than the work itself. Rejection can stop us in our tracks if we let it. I’m going to copy Ellen’s quote and put it on my bulletin board as well. I find that the only thing that brings me back when I am doubtful is the thought that if one person benefits from what I’ve written, it was worth doing.

  5. Sara,
    It’s a cliche, but you just have to hang in there. My initial quest for an agent and editor eventuated in crushing disappointment (I’ll share the full story on my own blog when I can find the time), but after I recovered from that, I went on to obtain my current agent and, ultimately, a contract. Yes, the industry stinks–but I still have faith that good writing will see the light of day. So I’ll be rooting and cheering for you!
    Josh

    1. Thanks Josh. I find it helpful to hear others stories of defeat and victory, so I’m looking forward to that blog post of yours. In my heart, I believe, too, that great work will find its way into readers’ hands. Congratulations on signing that contract. How far are we away from seeing your book in print?

  6. I love the way you’ve turned the negatives (rejection & disappointment) into positives (finding even more confidence in your writing). Can’t wait to see your stuff out there!!

    1. Thanks Liv. One day we’ll talk about how you went about publishing your work and why you went the way you did. Okay?

  7. I’ve yet to read your novel but based on your thoughtful, inspiring posts I am confident you will be a published author in the very near future. Keep pressing forward, Sara. I have faith in you and your writing. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Tami! What would I do without my WANA friends? And I still owe you a box of chocolates I promised to send. Will you email me your address again?

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