I spent most of yesterday feeling pretty sorry for myself. After spending a great deal of time beavering away on my novel, all I had to show from 3 submissions was 1 rejection which informed me that my submission was not suitable. Inevitably I spent the vast majority of the day desperately over analysing the curt response which I had received. The only conclusion which I could arrive at was that it was clear that my novel is rubbish.
By the time I returned home, thoroughly defeated and deflated, I was able to put my feelings to the back of my mind. From time to time cooking is massively therapeutic to me and I soon found myself suitably sedated by the waft of my Jack Daniels glaze drifting up from the pieces of deceased bovine which sat in my griddle pan. I sat myself down in front of my laptop, glass of red wine one side, my steak sandwich the other and instantly noticed that I had mail. When I opened it I was stunned to find my 2nd rejection of the day.
The reason I am rambling slightly and providing far too many details is to try to get my point across. I had managed to find an inner calm which would have made the buddha jealous. I felt nothing, I found myself grinning like an idiot, yet expecting the worse. It was one of those moments where you can only laugh at what a son of bitch life can be sometimes.
When I read the email I was stunned. Indeed it was a rejection, and it made me smile. The reason was that it was something more than a generic thanks but no thanks. It was personalised, it was encouraging and most importantly of all it felt honest. Whether it was or not I shall never know as I don’t expect that I will ever meet the person behind it.
As the owner of an exceedingly obsessive mind I cannot pretend I haven’t combed over every word trying to find meaning where there is none. What makes it ever harder is that I am a natural pessimist. Despite that, the 2nd rejection has somewhat calmed me. An experience is the sum total of what a person takes from it. I am trying to take it at face value.
I will continue with my plan and I will send it to the next agency on my list. In the meantime I shall finish my current project. When I started the submission process I promised to give it 18 months. It’s only been 3. I am sure I will be just fine. If only I could borrow the buddha’s patience for a little while.