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  • Hetal Avanee

the Marathon

I've needed to remind myself lately that rejection is a part of EVERY business; it does not exist solely in the publishing world. However, being successful in my day job (shout-out to all the women in IT!!) makes me feel my writing rejections more keenly. I've gotten to the point of near darkness that I needed to pull up a post I wrote back in May 2016:

JK Rowling, Nora Roberts, JRR Tolkein, George RR Martin

What do they all have in common besides being number 1 sellers, publishing titans, and living in castles?

They've all been rejected. Several times. Sometimes for the oddest of reasons and not always in the nicest ways. (edited: search any author above + rejections and you'll see some sample letters)

So Tuesday I'm just la-dee-daing through my day...And I get an email.

Expectation tightens my belly.

My fingers shake with nerves as I drop everything else, unlock my phone, and open my gmail app.

And there it is.

A form rejection.

I took it hard.

Really hard.

So hard that my body kinda...shut down.

So I'm not at this point yet (the "ignore the world, let my body break under the weight of form rejects" point I mean), but I feel it looming behind me. I feel it's presence over my shoulder, constantly shadowing me, waiting on my lowest low in order to successfully take me down. And my energy is flagging, my perseverance is stuttering. I'm trying hard to shore up my realism with a dose of optimism, but guys, I'm terrible at being an optimist. I don't know how this works. Anybody have pointers?

Add to this the stress of slowly losing another family member, at the end of the year, for the second year in a row, and I cannot high function. I'm driving an hour from home everyday to visit my ailing uncle and sitting amongst heartbroken family for hours is emotionally draining.

I fell off the NaNo wagon and haven't the energy to pull myself back into the bed...And suddenly the Oregon Trail theme music is running through my mind.

I have plot bunnies procreating in my mind but cannot corral them into my notebook before they hop away. Those fuzzy [de]tails are calling me but too elusive to catch. Guess I need to get

Is this the meaning of the writer's life? (she asks with cheek cause she already knows it's true) ;-)

But all of that is ok. Publishing is a marathon not a sprint, and though I'm not a runner, this metaphor is hitting me in the feels. Rejection Dejection looms, yes, but I'll keep my pace, slow as it might be, and hope.

Funny aside: hubby doesn't know I have already devoured all of Stranger Things, so last night, as I'm rewatching Season 1 while he's seeing it for the first time, I'm also making story notes in a notebook. Not my chosen method of writing - because I have pinched nerves that makes it painful to handwrite - but it was kind of satisfying to color-code my notes. Anyway, he says to me, "What're you doing?"

"Writing notes for my new story." I scribble across the perfectly straight blue lines on the pristine page with my pink ink.

"Another story? When will you be done writing another 'new story'?"

I finish scratching my thoughts onto the page, click the pen shut. Gripping it in my fist, I look him straight in the eyes, daring him to question me after i make this statement. "Never, my dear. The answer is always NEVER."

And guess what. He didn't dare. :-D

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