Rejection, Goals and Reasons NOT to Facepunch Bears

So, I was doing that thing that they tell new writers not to do. I had this great manuscript, perfect for a category romance line–it semi-finaled in a contest, got requests on fulls from the very first three agents I queried, great editor feedback… so I submitted it. And then I obsessed over it. For like way too long. I had this whole scenario all built up in my head: I sketched out ideas for the next two books, turning it into a series, spent imaginary advance money on all kinds of stuff…

And then I got the rejection yesterday.

It wasn’t super-devastating and I actually had this little blip of premonition before I even opened my email that my rejection would be sitting there. I read it without much surprise or sadness (they did have nice things to say, which was cool) and, overall, I’m okay with the fact that I didn’t make it with this one.

Why? Because this whole thing was yet one more new writer mistake in a series of them. You know how, when you start writing, you’re like “Ohemgee, I would never do something like that!” Yeah, I’m doing all the dumbs. Here are my lessons-learned:

  1. My barely-out-of-rough-draft novel was not the greatest thing since sliced bread. Hey, it’s a fun story! Maybe, with proper editing, it could be good, but right now it’s so not perfect.
  2. If more than one professional points out an area or two in which your novel is weak… it probably is.
  3. Don’t hit Submit and then completely focus a disproportionate amount of your mental energy on imagining what’s happening to your manuscript on the other end of the internet. Especially for more than six months.
  4. KEEP WRITING. Focus on getting the next book done. And then the next and the next.
  5. Maybe the most important thing: if your style doesn’t really fit category lines, don’t try to fake it. This particular book is definitely salvageable, but after a rewrite, it’s so not going to be a good fit for that publisher. But it’ll be in my real voice, more quirky and less formulaic, and probably be a good fit somewhere.

So, like I posted on my Facebook status today, I’m done feeling sorry for myself and am ready to facepunch bears. In a good way. As in, ain’t nothin’ gonna stop me now.

(I do not literally condone facepunching bears. Someone actually shared my post, saying something about how liberals shouldn’t punch bears and I think they missed the whole point. A. I’m not actually politically-oriented, and B. Facepunching a bear would be a great way to go if one of your life goals was to get eaten by an apex predator.)

#Mens Fashion

Image Credit: Awesome Etsy t-shirt HERE. It’s available in a shower curtain, too.

Which brings me to more ROW80 goals:

Finish rough draft of PL&M by August 31.  

Post ROW80 Wednesday updates and visit 10 other ROW80ers.

Work out initial anthology details.

Outline short story by Sunday (30K words).

Plan out cookbook project next steps. 

(Shelving those last three for now, though the anthology will be percolating hard, as that’s the next big project. Right now, though, Peace, Love and Murder takes priority.)

What’s your favorite way of dealing with rejection? How do you feel about assaulting mammals bigger than you are for no reason? Do you participate with ROW80? Want to? Join us here!


The Internet Ate Yesterday’s Post

See? I told you it was evil!

I had this whole post about how I got some new anxiety meds and maybe they’re working, lots of new ideas kicking around, being all productive and stuff…

I did okay on last week’s goals. Visited a few ROW80ers, didn’t consume quite as much internet, wrote some words. But I’m changing format, after some crazy developments this week:

Finish rough draft of PL&M by August 31.  

Post ROW80 Wednesday updates and visit 10 other ROW80ers.

Work out initial anthology details by Sunday.

Outline short story by Sunday (30K words).

Plan out cookbook project next steps. 

I know, there’s some weird left-field stuff in there. How are you doing on your goals? Do you participate with ROW80? Want to? Join us here!

Not Sucking at Golf and Other Things

I work for an advertising agency and we had our annual company picnic yesterday at a local country club. It was uber swanky, and the shindig included lake views (complete with yachts), lots of alcohol and an ice cream truck. And golf. Which I decided I should attempt, even though I’d never hefted a club.

Sing with me: “One of these things is not like the others…”

11817188_10153014012277361_1469038586908420606_n (1)

Don’t get me wrong–up close, that shirt is sweet. But it just didn’t scream country club, if you know what I mean. Unless it was hollering “early 1970’s country club.”

But I golfed in it anyway. And maybe some 70’s mojo rubbed off on me, because I didn’t suck! Well, not very badly. I won’t bore you with stories of how a lot of my divots traveled further than my ball or how I chipped out of a hole (what are bunkers without sand called, anyway?) with the most perfect arc you could ever wish for, plopping it right on to the green, but I will tell you that the whole experience got me thinking. What other things could I try that I might not actually suck at?

Jujitsu comes to mind. So does learning to make my own decaf iced mocha to rival Starbucks’ best. Calligraphy. Competitive speedwalking. Ballroom dancing. Poker. Parkour. Ice road trucking. Kickboxing an emu.


Original Image Credit (before I messed with it)

I’m going to wait on all of those, though (except maybe the mocha thing), and try something new in my writing world. I’m going to compile and publish an anthology. A long-time member of my writers group has a 25K-word story just kicking around, and suggested we put together an anthology of member short stories as a fundraising effort. At the very least, we’d all sell a copy to each other, right?

Well, I kind of volunteered to do it. And then her idea sparked several other ideas, related and unrelated, of writing-related things I’ve never done but might not suck at. Best of all, every new thing I suddenly want to try ties in with my ultimate goal of writing and publishing being my primary gig. I just have to hang on to the thought that if I don’t suck at golf, I most definitely won’t suck at this. Writing is my best, most favorite thing, dammit.

My to-do list just got a little longer and my brain a lot more crowded, but I’m excited about these new directions. Do you like trying new things? Are you an accomplished ballroom dancer? Can you teach me? Anything super crazy on your mind lately? I want to hear about it!