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.