Saturday, May 23, 2009

Acceptance and Rejection

You receive the long-awaited envelope in the mail from the publisher. You weigh it in your hand. It's thicker than what you sent out. It's also heavier than you anticipate. You forgo the letter opener and proceed to tear open the envelope flap with your pointer finger. You shuffle through the papers and find an unfamiliar packet of information. It's your acceptance letter and contract from the publisher. You twirl the papers in your hand and do the acceptance dance. For me, that's the body shimmy with a head bopping while singing, "I got my contract, I got my contract, la-la-la-la-la-la-la," to the Spanish tune of "La Cucaracha."

When I got my first acceptance letter, I was ecstatic. It's a feeling of accomplishment, much like completing a marathon. And I'm not just saying this. I actually ran 3 marathons. It's nice to know that all the months of researching, writing, reading, editing, and more editing had paid off. Seeing my article in print was like receiving a finisher's medal. When I crossed that finish line and received my medal, I became a marathoner. The day I saw my article in print, I became a published writer. And like my finisher's medal, I carried the magazine with me wherever I went and shared it with my family and friends.

Having a published piece gave me a "writer's high." I felt as if that one article put me in an advantage in the publishing world. Any future article or story that I write would be read before all the other unpublished writers. My mind went into a creative frenzy. Ideas for stories and articles came popping into my head. I began working on my next article with my virtual badge of honor that read, "published writer." I sent out my next manuscript, not with hesitance and nervousness, but this time with pride and optimism.

A few months later, I received the envelope I've been waiting for. I opened my other mail before opening the letter from the publisher. Carefully sliding the letter opener into the flap of the envelope, I delicately pulled out the paper. It was a single sheet. Perhaps, the publisher is cutting down on paper and shrunk the contract into a single page, I thought. No. It was a rejection letter. Reality hit me...and it hit me in the heart.

My rejection letter was reminder about the fierce competitiveness of this industry. But hey, so I received a rejection letter. I just need to keep sending out my manuscript and finding a home for it. In sales, they say you must get 8 "no's" before you receive a "yes" response. I'm sure that is much higher in the publishing world. Nevertheless, I will press on. For every rejection I get, I know I am that much closer to receiving another acceptance letter. I'll keep working on my craft, perfecting my skill, and attending workshops. Write-on my friends!

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Romelle,
    J A Konrath took 500 rejections before his first was published. But he's written 6 books and counting. So keep up the good work.
    (sat next to you at East Bay SCBWI meeting:)



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