It’s that season.
Book contest rejections are rolling in, and I spent yesterday in a funk because I got not one but two rejections from publishers. Although intellectually, I know that I should just keep on working on the manuscript and sending it out, emotionally, I felt really low. hence a couple of “Woe is me” Twitter and Facebook statuses. Back to the salt mines, I suppose.
Still, I can’t help wondering where the line is. If the manuscript is continually rejected and if you’ve worked and worked on revision after revision, do you continue to send it out or do you scrap it? Is it time for me to write a new book of poems? I don’t think that’s the case, but when I get hit with two manuscript rejections in one day, I tend to meditate on these thoughts.
I read once that Larry Brown had written two entire novel manuscripts (which he trashed) before he wrote Joe. I cling to the fact that Wallace Stevens didn’t publish Harmonium until his 44th birthday. I’ve read that it took J.D. Salinger ten years to write Catcher in the Rye.
So, keep writing, right? Keep revising. Keep sending it out. I’ve got work to do, and I continue to keep working. Some of the wind’s out my sails, but I’ve not yet drifted into a Sargasso sea, but the winds are calm, and I’m caught in a current. Who knows where it will lead?
O for a muse of fire,