Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grant year, week 41: 1st rejection

Well, I didn't get into the Hachette MS Development program. They had 260 applications, and from those chose 10 to take part.

I have to admit, it knocked me around for an hour or so. But I've bounced back well. I think in part because of this article by Tobias Buckell, where he talks about 'milestones' and 'goals'.

Milestones are things you’d like to have happen to you. Selling a story. Selling a novel. Getting nominated for an award. Winning an award.

Goals are things you can actually achieve. Finishing writing a story. Writing a certain number of words. Writing a certain kind of story.


Early on in my career I hit upon a method of focusing and rewarding only the activities that I could control. I knew I wanted to sell a story, but that it was a random pellet. So I focused on writing and submitting stories. No one could stop me from that. I celebrated every 100 rejections (with champagne and nice food and a little mini-celebration) I got as proof that I was laying down the right actions toward hopefully getting a story sold.

So, even though the rejection was initially painful, I'm still on track to reach my goal -- to have a polished MS by the end of the year.

Where do I go from here?

At the moment I'm in the process of printing out the second draft to send back to the editor and also to an early beta reader.

After that, I need to polish, and then send to a couple of other beta readers.

Then a further run-through of the MS to incorporate feedback.

And then I just have to sell the damn thing!

The other thing that's helped me keep my chin up is attending the Emerging Writers Festival yesterday.

I got to catch up with writer/editor friends, and the festival itself resulted in some interesting ideas/opportunities.

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