One step forward…

…and a couple backwards. The thing about rejection is that sometimes they’re right.

Which doesn’t make it suck any less.

via GIPHY

I recently submitted a manuscript I was really proud of to a writing professional I respect. Her response was quick, brief, and a little painful to hear.

I rearranged deck chairs on my little Titanic and sent it back, asking for clarity.

She had the grace and patience to tell me what was missing, to ask me questions I hadn’t asked of my own text:

  • Who is this character?
  • Why should a reader care?
  • What is the universal aspect to this isolated incident?

It dawned on me that she was right. I needed to hit the drawing board. Again.

Of course, the emotional journey between “I’ve created something amazing” and “Oh crap it’s not enough” is fraught. I’m usually good at sussing out when (and where) a piece needs more work. But this experience shook my confidence. Do I really know what I’m doing?

Feeling that the answer was, uh, no, I decided to get some help.

  1. I contacted an editor I know for a professional critique
  2. I signed up for an online class
  3. I read a million how-to blog posts and signed up for a couple of newsletters
  4. I unraveled my carefully wrought story and started over
  5. I bought a new purse. With tassels!

I’ll blog with updates about my critique and class experiences. I’m looking forward to them both. Investing in my education as a writer can only make my writing stronger. Right?

Either way, my new purse will look really cute all season.

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