What a (Woeful) Week.

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…

The Rejections.

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.


  1. In an odd way, this post encourages me– knowing that a talented and successful writer like you can still have weeks like this. I’m glad good things happened for you this week too. As we say in Japan, Gam-ba-re! (hang in there. keep fighting.) 😀


  2. With you all the way, Kat!
    Rejections are painful and disappointing, but we have to pick ourselves up and keep going, even when it’s the last thing we want to do. Pheah!!! … said with a grimace.
    Congratulations on your little NZ treasure that arrived in the post – it is gorgeous! 🙂


  3. Hi,
    Thankyou for your honesty and sharing that with us. Struggling writers everywhere appreciate the reality of your situation, and it makes us feel better about having the very same experiences. Well done on your accomplishments and dont give up on those others, they just need to find the right publisher at the right time ❤


  4. Oh Kat, that acceptance and then the marketing department pulled the plug- ooh I could feel the pain. But you know that its good- send it out again… and yes keep going- its the one thing that binds all of us writers together- we keep on- even this week will gradually turn into a positive in the greater scheme of things…


  5. Congratulations on your ‘whale of a success’, Kat.

    Amidst the disappointment of rejection, it’s wonderful (and well deserved) to have affirmation that you have talent and that your readers (and your friends) love you.



  6. Thankyou for your encouragement, understanding, love and belief! Beautiful words in action.

    Yes – yay for audio. They’ve done a wonderful job with it. (My NZ treasure, I like that. 🙂 )

    I’m glad you are encouraged, Debbie and Angela. The community of children’s writer’s is wonderful to be a part of. We are not alone. And these feelings are natural – and felt by others.

    Katrina, you will be pleased to know that I have followed your advice (http://www.katrinagermein.com/blog/the-seven-steps/) and (over)indulged… in chocolate.

    And now (with celebratory chocolate on the inside) I must ‘keep on’ sorting what goes where next!


  7. Thanks for expressing the human side of writing so well. It helps those of us unpublished writers to know that the roller coaster is the same for everyone. It serves as a reminder to write for the love of it and let the rest ebb and flow.


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