So there’s this manuscript I’ve been working on for over ten years now (in an off-and-on kind of way). It’s a story I always wanted to tell and felt I could find a good audience for. Different iterations of it have been well-received and it’s felt like a near-miss with a couple of publishers in the past.
I took another stab at it this year, trying to address criticisms that have come up before. I thought it was strong enough to maybe finally break through and I’ve been working in my spare time to submit it to places I thought might be a good fit.
One of the places I thought might want to pick it up has said no. They were very nice and very thoughtful, and also complimentary, but the criticisms from the past still haven’t completely gone away.
Part of me wants to feel like this is just part of the process. You hear stories all the time of writers who were rejected and rejected and rejected again before finally finding success.
Another part tells me it’s time to give up on it, that I just can’t find whatever approach is needed to get the tone right and make it palatable for a wider audience.
My instinct is to give in to the feelings of depression and pull back, relegating it to the back of a drawer just in case there’s a reason to pull it out in the future. And maybe another approach, or another topic, will come to me somewhere down the line.
But it makes me sad. It’s another loss, and even though this is the business I’ve sought (ups and downs, rejections and acceptances), there’s no real way to avoid the feeling that it’s a heavy blow, and one that’s going to drag me down for a little while.