It wasn’t long ago that I was going over my rejection letters from CHASING CLOVERS. Twelve white papers sat before me. Some with letterhead, some without, and even a few with coffee stains on them. Within the neatly typed letters, four stood out above the rest—four with the same inscription... Dear Writer.
I wasn’t important enough for them to address the letter to me. The letter they send all the rejects.
Nope, I am Dear Writer.
The first time I received a rejection letter I sighed loudly, and tossed the paper into the pile of NO’s slowly growing on the right side of my desk.
The second time my jaw clenched, and for a few seconds I think I lost my vision. I took a deep cleansing breath, and then off to the pile it went.
The third time my hand tightened, crinkling the paper a smidgen. I bit my lip from yelling out vulgar profanity, took ten deep breaths that burned my nostrils and throat. I waved the paper in the air and threw it into the pile on the right.
The fourth time was an email so I printed it out. I clenched the paper within both hands, spewed out “Dear Writer” in every mimicking way I could along with a few “Thank you Jack Ass’”, and crumpled the paper up into a tight ball. I went outside and lit it on fire. As I watched the orange flames lick the curled paper, my temper began to subside and I came back to reality. Every writer goes through this, right? It’s never the first time. Heck, it’s usually never the first book. I picked up the charred ball from the pavement, and went inside to run it under some cool water.
The only part that wasn’t burned beyond recognition...Dear Writer.
Dear Damn Writer. Ugh.
I stared at the two words for a long time, my eyes misting—my throat tight. Was I ever going to get this book published? I picked up what was left of my pride and dragging my feet, my chest tight, I went back to my office. I reached for the rejection letters, and spread them all over my desk. Words jumped out at me. “Good, but not good enough.” “You’re almost there, but this needs work.” “Keep trying.” “Sorry, no.” “We do not publish new writers.” “Please, do not waste our time.” (ouch)
I picked up my book, loose papers bound by two elastic bands, with scribbles from editing sprawled across the pages. I ruffled the edge with my thumb casting a faint breeze. The clean, dry scent filled my nostrils, and I smiled. The smell of paper is like homemade bread to a writer.
Even if I never publish this novel, I wrote it. I spent countless hours researching, and reading. I took course after course until I thought my brain was going to explode with information. I typed until my fingers cramped and my eyes dried out. I did it when no one thought I could, or would.
I finished it. I finished it. I FINISHED IT!!!
That was the day I put my book, CHASING CLOVERS in the drawer of my desk thinking it would never be published. A month later I saw the ad Imajin Books had posted in the Writers Guild looking for submissions.
I said jokingly to my husband, “I should send in CHASING CLOVERS and see what kind of rejection I get this time.” I had given up hope on ever finding a home for my novel. He didn’t laugh. He looked at me and said “I don’t think you should give up. Send it. What do you have to lose?”
I sat for a while and pondered what he’d said. He was right; I didn’t have anything to lose. So I gathered my query, synopsis and three chapters and sent them in. What followed next has been a dream come true.
In three days I will be a published author. CHASING CLOVERS will be in ebook and print.
I will hold the story I wrote two years ago in my hands. And you know what? It will be the best baked bread I have ever smelled.
CHASING CLOVERS ebook release this Saturday, Oct. 15th.