Saturday, June 18, 2011

Silver Linings

Friday, I received a rejection letter from one of the agents reading my full.  It highlighted everything that was wrong in the manuscript and thanked me for sending it along.
In the same email-checking-session, I received an offer of placement for the MLitt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.  (IE Scotland)

I was, admittedly, not prepared for the rush of emotions.  What to feel first?  Scotland is a place near and dear to my heart.  I think everyone has that idealized image of home.  Scotland is mine.  And after spending nine assorted months there studying and working in the past, the notice that I could, finally, return home was perhaps more than my system could handle.  Because it also means leaving again.  This time, for a hell of a lot longer than before.
And the rejection letter?  Well, it was an agent I had high hopes for, and I definitely fell a few rungs in confidence.

Enter my two personalities.

Part of me wanted to break down.  It wants to say, "see--you'll never be an author.  Agents don't want you. You need to just stay in school and keep busying yourself with other projects so you'll stop trying to publish." That part is quiet, disgustingly friendly and deceiving.  It sounds so rational.  After all, I keep getting rejections.  It's time to give up, right?  How does one deal with thinking, "I'm good at this, but I'm not succeeding, and yet there's a bunch of people who write crap and make it to the top" ?

Thankfully, there's always another part.
This part adheres to the belief that when you're walking the road you need to walk, life doesn't get easier.  Life gets really hard.  Life throws curveballs and makes you run twenty laps on your hands.  Life tests you, because you're getting close, and Life wants to make sure you're worth getting what you asked for.

The part of me that believes that--believes it because the alternative is so, well, depressing--has taken over.  It's the part of me that takes the rejections and extracts what various agents felt was wrong with the manuscript, prints the whole damn thing out and stands there with a few purple pens (red is so angry.  PURPLE SOOTHES) waiting to tear through it.  That part already kept me up with ideas of how to change the plot in big ways and up the ante and prove he's a genius.
It also says that Glasgow is precisely what I need, precisely what I asked for.  And that's the scary part--because I worked hard enough to get this.
What will happen when I've worked hard enough to get published?

Which leads me to my question:
How do you deal with disappointment?  How do you deal with joy?
What are you working toward, and what will you do once you get it?
Because, let's face it, you're going to get it.  Someday.

And, because I promised a long time ago, this is one of the bajillion things I've done

and this is me.


  1. I wish you the best in Scotland ! And I can assure you that when the perfect time of the publication of your work comes,we,-the ones who want so badly to read it-will be happy for you.*And for what I have read in your blogg so far* To see how right we are to think that you are an excellent writter.( sorry if I spell something wrong )

  2. Alex, you are very sneaky. Nice pic!!! I think i've decided to stop pestering you about a proper photograph if you promise to keep going with your novel until it gets published and there is a back jacket flap with a photo and bio on you attached to that a deal?? Oh, and I'm gonna want a signed copy as well.I couldn't agree more with Maggie's comments above. Just remember, it only takes ONE yes! I would love to see the view from your lens in that picture of you. Looks like it would be beautiful!

  3. I totally understanding your conflicting emotions but at least you had good news, for me normally when I get a rejection (presently on hiatus revamping mss) I get more reactions now the latter makes sense. Know this you are not alone as I write this response likely in the world someone is getting a rejection all we can do is continue to hone the craft and hope that we get a yes. Good luck =)

  4. Just here, you know?? And find out, You have the same problem as me!, but i just wanna give you an advice. Don't give up. please, i feel just like you.. Maybe worse.. But if I had the chance, i will take it all! Please, keep posting.

    Sorry if i have a bad English, but this is South America.

    you have given me a whole new perspective.


  5. I won't give up, Emma, and neither should you! Thank you for reading and responding. I wish you the best of luck.