There comes a time in a writer’s life where it seems everything they send out is the brass ring on the merry-go-round of the publishing world. It’s you, they want it, and they’ll never say no. It’s a euphoric high beyond compare. Your hands are a maestro on the keyboard, conducting a symphony of Bach-like scores to wow the world’s senses.
Then reality jumps out of the orchestra pit and whacks you in the back of the head with its viola.
It’s worse than a rejection, it’s an acceptance only to realize that what you’ve offered is subpar compared to previous offerings. Or, as I recently got, a rejection that chides gently. Great writing but you skipped over too much. Shame on you!
Acceptances are a great thing but don’t think yourself a genius because you keep getting them. Look at the manuscript you sent off. Did you plow through it like the Juggernaut through a building? Did you take the time to make sure you haven’t screwed up any timeline issues? A good editor, if you’re accepted, is going to waggle their finger at you for it. Give them a break, okay? Stop trying to cut corners for validation. Or that beautiful coverart every writer covets and hold to their breast.
Maybe I did do a kamikaze run finger flail with one of mine and though it’s selling like like the pancakes at IHOP, I could have done better. I plan to take it slow with each manuscript from now on and stop looking for the Holy Grail of Acceptance. I want quality writing with my (pen) name on it. I want the review sites to see the story and not the inconsistencies I missed. Don’t my readers deserve better?
I’ve got one more anthology I pitched a story to, and still need to finish, and then I think I’ll back off on those. Something happened on the way to the latest one that I’ve taken to heart. I’ve grown as a writer over the two years of bucking down to be serious about it. I remember my baby steps with flash, shorts and novelettes. The little rock fountain to keep my bigger goals afloat. I will continue to bow to my humble beginnings and endeavor not to push something out without letting it simmer slowly.
Just like pie, I don’t go to the grocery store and get one out of the freezer. I take my time to make homemade from scratch crust. Slice the apples and mix the cinnamon mixture just right.
When your readers see the time you spent on the details, their accolades will echo through the halls to make you grin. Just don’t start to float on the high and keep your feet firm on the ground.
Remember–Humble Pie is tasty.