Creating children’s books and finding healthy relationships have more in common than it would seem on the surface.
As an editor, the joy of finding that perfect story is inextricably joined with the agony of having to reject many, many more each year. Having to explain to someone that their picture book story, their proposal, their novel, just isn’t for you is by far the worst aspect of the job. It’s like breaking up with someone whom you’ve never even met. I can picture the person on the other end receiving my letter or email…and I know how it feels because I’ve gotten my share of them as well.
Indeed, I recently received one. It was actually an incredibly kind and supportive rejection as these things go. It even came with some detailed feedback and an invitation to submit more of my work. Honestly, you couldn’t ask for more than that—unless, of course, you were to ask for a book contract.
Receiving this rejection would have devastated me a few years ago. And let’s be honest, it still doesn’t feel great when someone just isn’t that into your work, especially since I know from years in publishing that no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears one puts into a story, it doesn’t mean said story will ever see the light of day.
It’s a dreary little realization, to be sure. But hand in hand with it is the fact that getting rejected is just one of many facets in the long process of writing. As much as it stings, it can be an incredibly useful one, too. I’m armed with new thoughts on how to revise this particular story, which will help shape it moving forward.
And who knows? Maybe these particular revisions will lead to this story finding a home at another publishing house someday.
And I’ll find that dream editor who’s totally into me…or at least my writing!