Finding Worth in the Work
The last few weeks I’ve been discussing how to handle criticism in relation to the novella I was working on as part of a collection recently submitted to a publisher. It’s been a difficult time, and yet, I’m learning something. I’m beginning to get the perspective that it’s the accomplishment, and not the results, that counts. Click to Tweet #amwriting #perspective
All four authors worked hard to make our manuscripts the best we could. We were only given two months to get them “publish-ready.” (See my Wednesday posts regarding that subject.) I admitted to not having understood where the actual story was in the beginning, not ever having written a straight romance before. My novel is what my agent calls a “love story” and not a romance.
I shared about feeling humbled, and also humiliated, about my 95% story re-write, and that I accepted all the help I received. In the end, it came down to what I perceived as an “attack” on my identity, which is really wasn’t.
To their credit, this publisher doesn’t make you wait months to know their decision. As it was in December, when we submitted our book proposal, we heard a week after submission, the publisher “passed on the entire project.” That means they weren’t accepting any part of it. None of our stories will be published by them.
We knew going in that our chances were small of actually being published, especially after one of the colleagues said they knew who we were up against: already successful published authors.
In trying to find the reason, the purpose behind the past two months, all I could come up with was the accomplishment of writing a 24K novella in two months’ time, plus the 95% re-write in two weeks. I humbled myself and allowed six others to critique, edit, and change my work.
That’s the accomplishment. The work itself. The 24K novella, even though rejected by the publisher who’d asked for it, still stands on my computer. I can now do what I want with it. I have lots of options: 1) change all the names (which I will), 2) expand it (very possibly), 3) seek another publisher (maybe), 4) self-publish it (which I may very well do).
Even though the results were not what I’d hoped for, the accomplishment still stands. That’s the perspective. We create, then leave the results in God’s hands, and our own. Click to Tweet #amwriting #perspective
What about you? What project or job have you accomplished that didn’t receive the results you’d hoped for? Leave a comment and let me know.