August 03, 2011
Some of you have asked what the status of my book is. I am sorry that I have not updated you. To be honest, it feels funny even calling it a “book” at this point. A manuscript, a collection of thoughts, fragments of lessons learned–those would all seem appropriate. However, until it is in printed form, calling it a book feels a like the child dressed up in a police costume trying to hand out parking tickets–fraudulent .
That said, I don’t likely have to clarify that “my book” is not yet sitting on your local Barnes and Noble bookshelves .
A few weeks ago I received my first rejection letter. These days they are emails, not letters. Part of me is sad about that (the non-letter rejection). I have seen too many movies (or perhaps just seen Anne of Green Gables too many times) where the writer goes to the post office (on foot walking on a dirt road) and is handed “the letter” which is anxiously torn open and scanned looking for the all important bottom-line-message. I feel a little robbed of that experience to be honest but I am working to move past it. Anyway, back to the main point: the rejection.
Deep down, I logically knew it was inevitable that my first submission would not end with a bouquet of roses sent to me by a publishing company begging to publish my work. Optimistic by nature however, I did have hope. After all, if I didn’t believe that it was worth publishing, it would be a waste of my time to even pursue it.
In the end I think I received the best of both:
-I had a rejection which I think is totally healthy–getting an acceptance non-letter email on the first submission is sure to have been very bad for my ego.
-I was given encouraging feedback. The agent who reviewed my manuscript said, “I’m impressed by your professional presentation. Your heart for those who have experienced stillbirth is beautiful and I see a lot of potential in this book concept to reach a large market of parents. Unfortunately, I am being extremely selective in the clients I take on right now as I explore new directions as an agent and Finding Joy in the Mourning does not fit my current needs. Since I do see significant potential in your work, I will send this along to my colleague.“ Although her colleague also didn’t see my work as the right fit for his representation, I was incredibly grateful for her encouraging words.
So I took a few weeks to gather my thoughts, have a baby and find a quiet evening and last Tuesday I prayerfully submitted my work once again. This next submission is directly to a publishing company (rather than a literary agent) and it may be up to 6 months before I hear anything back. I don’t feel rushed and most places prefer to be the only one considering your work so I plan to wait and see what God has next (I just wont be waiting at the post office .
Thanks again to those of you who have offered your personal encouragement to not give up!
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