My life has just become a rollercoaster ride. By that I don’t mean all squeals and fun. I’ll explain.
I got a rejection on my first submission, actually I got two rejections on that particular ms five years ago. That meant they (the publisher/editor) didn’t think that one was right for the line I had written it for. I still have that one and all the lovely comments and suggestions from my then critique partners. Two of the loveliest ladies I’ve had the pleasure to build friendships with since. Rejections hurt. A lot. When you put your heart into something for a year like I did with that first ms, only to have an editor say it’s not good enough (for their needs at that time. That does not mean it's not a good book at all.)…that hurts.
I can’t express how much that one letter made me grow, how it made me become more determined as a writer. Through the pain and dejection I saw that I didn’t want to quit. In fact that thought never entered my mind, until the second ‘r’ over a year later. For some reason that one hurt worse. Maybe because it was from the same editor as the first time? I met that editor in person recently. I took the opportunity to thank him for turning that first ms down. He did me a huge favor! He showed me that I am strong and just how much I really do love writing about love.
To back track a bit, I’ve been writing since I was fifteen. Love stories. Romance. It never gets old for me. And this one setback turned out to be a blessing for me. A lesson in humility and strength of character.
I sent the sixty-thousand word medical manuscript about a mediflight emt-p and a veterinarian to Harlequin Mills & Boon-London in December. That was just four months after I first heard about the M&B Medical fast track. Start to finish- one chapter, three chapters and then, finally, a request for the full mss. I didn’t have it all written at the time and wrote the remainder (@ forty-thousand words) in two months once my editor asked for the full. Five weeks ago, on December 18, 2010 I emailed the completed manuscript to her as promised.
It’s been literally years since I’d even read a medical, let alone never written one. It never crossed my mind because I have no medical background other than a little vetting on my own animals over the years. None. I wanted to be a nurse when I was a young girl in school, but it never happened for me. Maybe because I loved horses and writing more; I don’t know. But I took on the challenge from my critique partner Melinda Pierce whole heartedly. Something else I have discovered about myself over these past five years- I love a challenge. Bring it on!
And then, today I checked my email, just five weeks and two days since sending it in, to find a R&R (revise and resubmit) waiting for me from my editor. That’s another step toward publication folks! It’s a step above a rejection. She didn’t say no. She’s saying “if you do this right, you might get your chance, all your hard work can pay off”. True, she’s not saying it’s a done deal. Not by a long shot. But as long as I know that, I’m okay. It’s okay.
So, do I take her challenge? Do I completely rewrite this story, alter these characters that I fell in love with while writing it? Or do I leave it the way it is and send it to another publisher, and write another story; start over at the beginning? I have to admit that I do have another in the early stages already. I started it less than a week after sending Perfect Doctor Viv off. Therapy. Staying busy is the key to getting through the waiting process. I’m taking a few days now to absorb her words, study the changes she’s suggesting. I won’t rush into this decision that could have the possibility to make or break me as a writer and who I am.
I know me; I know what I’ll do in the end…
What would you do?