The following email exchange really happened. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Me to my client:Hey <Nameless Client>, FYI, <Editor 1> at Big Publishing House and <Editor 2> at Another Big Publishing House both passed. 😦 L.
My client to me:
Me to my client:
My client back to me:Well, you know…it’s humbling and all. I’m pumped to work on kicking my writing up a notch. I’m sort of anticipating many “passes” so I want to get something new (and hopefully even better) done so that if <INSERT NAME OF FABULOUS MANUSCRIPT> isn’t the one, I won’t take 7 years getting something else out.
So, what can we learn from this, besides that we are both stupid with smileys? First of all, holy shit, right?! I mean, what a great attitude! Part of the business of being a writer is expecting and dealing with rejection. Welcoming rejection though, is a whole other ball of wax. It’s ‘kicking up a notch’ what rejection means, or rather, doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean you don’t ever expect to get published because your current manuscript is getting passes. It doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. It doesn’t mean you suck. It just doesn’t mean any of that. This client took a pass as acknowledgment that she’s finally “arrived.” She welcomed getting rejected because it’s part of being a real writer. Rather than being bummed out, she took it as a call to action to take on writing something even better the next time. Wow. I’d probably just cry or something. One of the greatest things about having the privilege of working with my clients is that I have the opportunity to be inspired by these creative people, not only in the area of writing, but also in the area of being a great human on the planet.