Twice today I’ve been rejected. I admit, I have really thin skin. I’m tender-hearted and sensitive and definitely should have picked a different kind of career than writing. Aka, putting your heart on paper only for people to use it as a welcome mat for their muddy shoes.
Did I mention I have a flair for the dramatic?
Ok, it’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be. I just naively thought that once I got my book published (you know what’s coming: shameless plug. You can purchase My Pink Champagne Life here and here) the rejection would end for a bit.
Not all books are meant for all venues. I totally get that. Within my niche I have been trying to get the word out. Talking to my contacts, using social media, begging my friends to buy my books. My little snowball is starting to have some momentum. And I’m totally excited about that-I have five events scheduled. Five! Me!
As an unknown author, this is the only way to sell books. And until I suddenly morph into John Grisham (Mr. Wonderful would be so disappointed!), or get Oprah to read my book, I’m going to have to win over one reader at a time. I am totally up for this challenge.
Sidebar: this is an exhausting yet exhilarating process. I had no idea what it meant to market your book when I signed the contract with my publisher. Can I just tell you that though I love my day job, I really love this writing gig.
To dispel any rumors, My Pink Champagne Life is not about alcohol. Some of you will stop reading at this point. I’ll holler at you when it’s time to time back in. It is about the act of celebration no matter what’s happening: during the good, the bad, the boring. It’s about grace and gratitude. About my crazy traveling circus of four kids, my mid-life love and subsequent marriage, what it was like to be a single mom, adoption, and how God has been with me. Every step. Even when I didn’t know it or feel it or even acknowledge it.
Within my niche market I got told (nicely and by people I know-I’m not sure if I feel better or worse about that) that my book, the thing I poured my heart and soul into for three years and then took another year to publish, wasn’t
good enough right for their audience. Maybe I’m reading into it a bit. It’s possible I’m reading into it a lot.
And those two rejections opened up a crack in my mental door for every critcal thought and negative, self-conscious flaying I’ve ever given myself. Who are you to write a book? Look at all the time you’ve wasted! Who on earth would read such drivel?
Mr. Wonderful stopped me in my tracks when I confessed what was going on inside my head. He did his usual propping up of me and my sagging little spirit. And then he prayed. Just a quick prayer and he probably didn’t think another thing about it. But in that moment to have my man acknowledge my insecurities and then to take my hand and take a moment was extraordinary for me.
Everything isn’t magically cured. I still want people to like me and think my book is exactly the kind of encouragement they need. I’m sure I’ll still have doubts and crazy thoughts-I’m still me after all. But I know that I can’t keep doing the right things over and over without getting good results.
Ok, time to come back, I’m bringing it home. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’ll tell a few more people about this book I wrote. Some will like it, some won’t, and that will hurt my feelings. But it’s another chance to enlarge the snowball, and share this little dream with others. I will follow my own encouragement and remember to celebrate.
Even if I get rejected.
Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015