The Rejections Keep Coming

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Five months ago I sent out several query packages for my novel. I had every intention if sending out more, but the needs of an elderly furkid forced me to make some changes to my priorities. For the record, I’m not sorry I shelved my writing dreams for a few months as I would not trade the time I had with my dog for anything.

During those “off” months, absolutely nothing showed up in my inbox. Ugh. Rejection by silence. That’s the worst kind! I went into my spreadsheet and marked all open queries with “assumed rejection.” How depressing is that??

Just when I think the silence is going to kill me, I get an actual response from an actual agent. While it was rejection, it was a personal email rather than a form letter. She took the time to explain why she was turning me down and gave me encouragement to keep looking for an agent who would be the right fit for my work. Even though this is a rejection, her kindness reduced the sting a little.

As I look through all my rejection letters (there’s more than 30), I’m noticing the vast majority are personalized responses. I’ve decided to look upon this as a good thing. In addition, I only have five “assumed rejections” from lack of a response. That’s not too bad.

I remain optimistic, but I’m also not going to lie. It is discouraging to be at it this long with little or nothing to show for it. Sometimes it truly does feel like this publication thing just isn’t going to happen for me. This is an industry where the competition is fierce and there are literally thousands of incredibly talented people vying for a small number of contracts.

So what’s next? Another round of query packages, most likely. I still have a number of prospective agents on my list and I’m motivated to add more agents to my list. Part of my motivation comes from knowing well-established writers have all experienced the repeated sting of rejections. It’s part of the process and I just have to endure. When I see writers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling received rejections by the hundreds, my thirty rejections are just a drop in the bucket. This is not over and I’m not giving up.

Thank you, J.K. Rowling for inspiring all of us to keep going!

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The right agent is out there somewhere and I’m going to find her. 🙂

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c.b.w. 2016

 

Haiku On Display

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Earlier this year, I entered some haiku into a local competition associated with the Arizona Matsuri Festival. Having had some success last year, (see A Haiku Victory!), I decided to give it a go, again.

This time around, I decided to write contemporary haiku that doesn’t abide in the “traditional” 5-7-5 syllable format. Even though the competition defined haiku as having strict syllable rules, there was a tiny mention of how contemporary English language haiku does not follow the same rules. Seeing as most of my haiku fall between 9 and 12 syllables, I was thrilled to get the chance to compete with my chosen format of haiku.

The gamble paid off! I ended up getting published in the Haiku Expo 2016 eBook, with a haiku that earned the rank of Outstanding in the competition. Only 41 out of 830 entries received an Outstanding rank, so I’m pretty excited to see my name listed in that group!

The eBook is free and is well worth downloading. It’s a beautiful collection of haiku from all different age ranges.

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During the festival, my haiku was on display at the Haiku Expo booth along with other Outstanding and Honorable Mention winners.

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Publication in any form is a nice way to start the writing year! 🙂

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c.b.w. 2016

2013 Goals: October Status Report

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Here’s how October went in terms of my writing goals . . .

1) Complete final draft of Novel #2.

Goal complete.

The edited draft for Novel #2 is still looking good. I have no complaints!

2) Work on converting Novel #1 into first person.

Still on the shelf (and that’s okay).

3) Submit 5 pieces of writing.

I didn’t submit anything in October, but I did decide to join the Writer’s Digest 2013 November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge. By the end of November I should have 30 poetry submissions and be eligible to win publication in the form of a chapbook.

4) Submit three query letters for Novel #2

Goal complete!

However, the silence is deafening. During November, I’ll be researching more agents in which to send my query package.

5) Continue building author platform

It seems I’ve reverted back to my love of Facebook and I’m almost completely ignoring Twitter. Perhaps in November, I’ll get back on the Twitter bandwagon! I hereby set the goal of one tweet a day in the month of November, (links don’t count!).

My Facebook Page has grown from  335 to 341

On Twitter, my followers have slipped from 546 to 543

Thanks so much to all my followers on social networks and on this blog. Your support and encouragement means so much!

6)  Read three books on the writing/publishing process.

I pulled two books off of my shelf:

The Complete Idiots Guide to Getting Published

The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman

As soon as I get done with Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth, I’ll be tackling these two books!

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

As always, I can only hope I am a positive presence!

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How are you doing on your 2013 goals?

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c.b.w. 2013