A wee dip from time to time makes the highs of the Ride more exciting, right?
In writerly terms, that means rejections. I quote:
‘Unfortunately, on this occasion your entry was not selected for the longlist.’
‘It was a difficult decision. This is not our standard rejection letter.’
‘We are very picky when it comes to selecting books as we only have a short list each year.’
What? WHILE I’m on the Ride?
I remember attending my first SCBWI event in Edinburgh, where well-established author Nicola Morgan introduced her session by saying: “I still get rejections. All the time.”
I was taken aback.
More recently, my friend and all-round legend Jennifer commented: “You’re only as good as your last book.” Published writers can’t take anything for granted, it seems. And I’m not even one of them yet.
Surely, I thought, once that door opens for you, you’re through. Out of the dark hallway and into the brilliantly bright, buzzing parlour of book launches and royalties and festivals and endless publication contracts.
Oh. Apparently not.
The truth is, the more time I spend around writers, the more I realise: those in the parlour pop in and out of the hallway all the time. In fact, the hallway is quite a fun place to hang out in its own way – think how all the really cool people always hang out in the kitchen at parties. There is something about the anticipation here. The NOT YET.
And, as I’ve discovered over the past couple of weeks, the NOT YET area isn’t barred to me – and maybe I wouldn’t want it to be? I’m still part of that crowd. And I’m going to take my first proper venture into the parlour in September, oh yes I am! That’ll be a high point. After which, I’m guessing, I’ll hang around with the hallway crowd. Until, hopefully, the parlour will beckon again.
And you know what? That’s ok with me.