Writing is a journey of ups and downs. Just when you feel like you’ve got it together – it can all come crashing down…
Last week was on of those weeks. After the excitement of Play School came the Curtis Coast Literary Carnivale – a feast for children and children’s authors/illustrators in the Port Curtis Region. It is one of the highlights of my year – and this was made even more exciting with the launch of ‘Net-a-Story’, an online component that I was involved with, mentoring students across our region.
But in amongst this busy happiness rolled…
Not one, but four rejections in ten days. I reeled!
Number One… You get that – and it was a new genre for me. This was a beautifully positive rejection offering hope. They praised my writing and want to see more. I was quite fine with that.
Number Two hurt! This was a PB acceptance that I had worked on with the editor to polish a couple of places – was excited to have in progress… until it met the marketing team. Whammo! It goes no further. It was salve to my wounds that my editor was also disappointed – and was looking forward to working with me on another manuscript.
But which one?
Number Three and Number Four were an adorable combination. I truly thought one of these might be ‘it’. After all, I had written them with this editor/publishing house in mind…
But I thought wrong. Two more rejections and I was… reeling. I really was! How could things change so quickly? How could I go from such a high point… to this?
It’s times like these that you need great writing buddies who understand and share the pain and frustration. They helped to pep me up and regain a sense of confidence in what I do and a belief that this is not the end.
But then today… an unexpected parcel… in my letterbox…
An audio CD including my Big Blue Whale poem, beautifully presented and recorded by Learning Media for the New Zealand Ministry of Education and distributed to all schools in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. My poem – for all those kids to hear!
And I am smiling again.
I still have sadness inside – the loss of the story that was accepted and is no more – the sense of panic that there is no ‘new book’ happening yet. (It’s a very real feeling.) But I am also hopeful – even excited. Because in the bigger scheme of things, I know that I do good stuff. And I know that there will be more stories and poems written – and more books published.
And I like the fact that children are reading and hearing my stories and poems. Because that is why I write.