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Rejection Leads to Determination

by Lyn Foley on April 29, 2009

I have been working on my book “Go Anyway” for about two, maybe even three years. I really don’t know.  I finished the first draft, got it in good shape, and started sending out queries way back when, by e-mail and snail mail, both. Rejection after rejection came back.

Months passed. After all, the advice sages advise, a writer should wait until the person to whom you have submitted the query replies. Multiple/simultaneous submission not allowed. O.K. I played by the rules.

About  eighteen months ago, an interested editor sent me a long letter, telling me everything I needed to change, and why. I made the first of the suggested changes, and  thought, “Terrific! I can do this!”  However, as time passed I discovered I dreaded working on my book. I finally realized I didn’t want to make the suggested changes, and that my original ideas were fine.  Yes, there is still editing to be done. But I am certain the basic outline and thrust of “Go Anyway” is just fine.

So, early this year (2009) I  put away my attempts to follow the said editors directives. And lo and behold a local newspaper (small but terrific) offered to serialize my book, one chapter at a time. And that editor,Kurt Wilson, and that paper,The Round Top Register, are doing just that. Kurt’s encouragement  and gentle editing  has gotten me back on track.

Meanwhile, I was rejected by not just one, but three very good art shows I have been participating in for years. You may not realize it, but the shows that I frequent require yearly submissions of one to four photos of recent work (and a fee of $35 or more dollars just for applying). The photos are reviewed by a jury who uses them to decide if you are in or out of the show. Why was I suddenly `out’?  Especially when I have continue to get rave reviews for my work, and continue to receive awards in my category. Not being accepted in these shows put a big dent in our first quarter income, and a dent in my self-confidence.

Now a segue: When we were sailing around the world, several people told us we would never make it. In particular, Boyd, a distant relative, took us out to dinner every time we flew back to the states, only to  always say: “Well, you’re still alive, and my gosh you’ve gone far, but I still don’t think you’ll make it around the world!” Boyd died a few years back. Where ever you are Boyd, you are one of the reasons we did make it around the world. Whenever Jim and I thought of giving up, and talked about it, we’d laugh and say at the end of the discussion: “We can’t give up! Boyd would be right!”  As you know we did make it around the world  – and lived to enjoy a celebratory dinner with Boyd.

So I declare that  I will get the book published, even if it takes longer than I planned.  I will hone the writing and the right person will come along and find “Go Anyway” and publish it.

I will be accepted into good shows. I have better photos of my jewelry now, and furthermore, I will improve my work as I continue to hone my glass skills.

So  fair warning to the editors and agents and show juries who have sent me messages of rejection. Rejection has led to determination.   You have inspired me to keep going toward my goals just like Boyd did. I’m not giving up.


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