I GOT MY FIRST REJECTION LETTER TODAY!!
Now, I tweeted this earlier today and I got a fair few “I’m sorry” tweets. While I do really appreciate and love you all, I have to say: This rejection letter actually makes me happy. I know, right? I’m completely insane. Let me explain. This letter (which was a very polite form rejection, in case you are wondering) is the first piece of tangible proof I have that shows I am actually following my dreams. I’m doing it. I’ve moved beyond the I wish and into the I am.
To me, writing a book was only the first step. I wouldn’t even say that was a step, really, because writing is as natural to me as breathing. I can’t NOT do it. So really, writing the book doesn’t count. However, I edited the book into a standard fit for human consumption, which certainly DOES count. I edited it so many times that eventually I was down to moving beats and playing musical chairs with my commas.
The second step was to share it with someone else. HEAT was actually the first thing I’d ever really shared with anyone, and that was quite a scary thing. First I gave it to my mum, who is honestly the greatest person ever, and then I gave it to my wonderful beta readers. While they read I continued to edit, because really I would argue (and Cubbins would agree**) that editing is the most important part of any project.
The third step was to decide that maybe, just maybe, this was something I could share with a wider audience. Again that was really scary, because you never really know how people will react. It really is like being naked in front of a crowd, ‘cause those words are your diary screaming out loud.* It’s quite strange to be a writer when you think about it, because you are endlessly torn between ‘please read my work’ and ‘oh dear God please don’t read it.’ Or maybe that’s just me :p
Now all three of these steps are important (well crucial actually, because you can’t be a writer if you don’t write!) but none of them are really taking it to the next level, you know? None of them can really be classed as following your dreams until you start step four. I know, because I sat on steps one, two and three for years. Actual years.
I have finally (finally!) taken it to the fourth step, and that step is to actually try. I have managed to talk myself out of trying more times than I can count, but something was different this time. Maybe there was something in the water, or maybe it was Jared Freaking Leto and his endless stream of inspirational speeches***, but something inside me shifted and I finally felt ready to put myself out there and actually try. So even though this first response was a no, the fact that I have received a letter at all means that I am doing it. I am chasing a dream so real, and now that I’ve started, nothing is going to stop me from pursuing what I want. Besides…
TITLE LYRICS: ‘Some Other Son’ (unreleased) by Thirty Seconds To You Are The Reason I Believe In Myself
*As Anna Nalick sings in her song ‘2am’.
**Bartholomew Cubbins, editor and perfectionist extraordinaire.
***That’s definitely what it was. Jared Freaking Leto.