A good rejection

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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