- MJ Carter
Lost and Found Part Two
I'd spent every spare moment I could find these past five months working on a romantic comedy novel. Passed on offers to do things. Cut myself off from my family and friends for that much-needed quiet writing time. Never gave in to that urge to binge-watch Netflix instead. Poured my heart and my soul into a story I thought was going somewhere. There was even one bit that gave me goosebumps. To be honest, that was a first. By the end, I was damned proud of that story.
Come to find out, I was kidding myself. I was told in three short sentences that my story was a dud. And wow, did that hurt. I was at work when I read the email. A great deal of my 'day job' consists of answering phones. For two hours after reading that rejection, I could barely speak. The pain was physically real.
When I got home from work, I refused to tell my family about the 'death' of my novel. By this point, they've lost all patience with my hopes of being a published author. I can't say I blame them. I've been trying for six years. My first novel got so close. What a wonderful feeling that was—even when it didn't pan out. My second is out there on submissions. I'm hearing that while a few editors like my writing style, the other necessary elements aren't there for them to take that chance. I'm sensing attempt number two is heading for a thanks-but-no-thanks all around, and that fear is hitting hard. I spent three years crafting that one, and I'm not getting any younger. But those editors are absolutely right. Editors have a lot at stake, and they do their jobs well. I've got nothing but appreciation for the guidance they've given me.
So, what are my options? Keep whining? Cry? Quit? No. No. No.
I spent a sleepless night after getting that no-go email. But in those long hours, I had a very good talk with myself. The truth is that I attempted a rom-com because they sell. In an earlier blog, (When You and Your Story are Never Ever Getting Back Together), I discussed trashing my first run at this story. Bottom line: I can't write this kind of romance. I don't even like them. There's the confession we're looking for! Don't like? Don't keep doing. It's that simple.
I'm heading back to a style I like best. And if it doesn't work this time, maybe I'll give up the ghost on trying to be known, and just write to make myself happy.