Thursday, October 30, 2008


Here's the text of the e-mail I just got:

Thanks so much again for sharing your revised manuscript with me. As you know, I've been on the lookout for a cult-themed literary novel, so I was excited to dive into The Cabin. While I found elements of the cult fascinating, I didn't feel that Josh and many of the secondary characters would be relatable enough to the average teen reader. Also, I worried that the third person narration felt overly removed, at time, and that the pacing wasn’t quite quick enough for our readership.

Given these concerns, I don’t feel that I'm the right editor for this project. I do wish you the best of luck in finding a publishing home for The Cabin.

So I give up.

Just kidding, although it's hard to stay motivated.

No, scratch that. Trying to stay motivated is like pushing through a pool filled with sticky, tepid oatmeal. Hmmm, maybe that still doesn't capture the feeling here.

How about: Rejections are nails that are being hammered by my self-doubt into the coffin of me as a writer. Yeah, that's more like it.

It's particularly disappointing because I had found a back door to get this manuscript off to this editor. Plus, she was looking for a YA book with my subject matter. Plus, I'm naive and probably don't do enough work before I send things off.

Oh well.

No, not 'oh well.'

Bring it on.

I can write. I can tell stories. I just had two story ideas come to me this week. I have stories to tell and I can tell them well. I can learn to tell them better and I can sell them and live as a writer. I can and I freaking, ever-loving, darn-tooting, for the love of all that's good and right WILL!

If I said swear words, that previous sentence would have read like a sailor who just stepped on the crustiest, sharpest barnacle.

I have to do some work now, but that's my update. I am going to put together a concrete writing schedule.

Do you realize (all six of you reading this (hey, that's up from 3)) how hard it is to make time to write? Five kids, all of them fun, my wife translating, bread needing to be made along with other household chores, and then exercising... not to mention a job that sucks the energy out of me... all combine to make it tough. Just thought I'd mention that. Just so... you know... pity.

No, keep your pity. Let it turn into fury and turn that fury and passion into a kick-a## story.

Lay off my somnium.


jjp said...

Sorry about the latest rejection. Maybe she will have no other options, and really want a story of that type, and contact you later...

On a side note, about a year ago, at one point walking for me felt like trying to walk through warm oatmeal. At least that was how I described it.

Jim Bessey said...


Very sorry to read this rejection. Seemed like you might have had a perfect fit there. I'm glad the editor didn't just "form-reject" you, at least.

Finding time to write, too...sigh. There aren't enough hours in the day for those of us who aren't financially blessed or social recluses.

Your attitude is inspiring, and I can't help believing in you and your eventual success. Best of luck to you, Jared!


Anonymous said...

Hey, Jared. I'm so sorry to hear about the rejection. I applaud your passion and your determination. I know you won't give up, and one day you will look back and laugh at this editor for refusing to take a chance on you. All best, my friend.


Janette Rallison said...

I feel your pain. Really. I've been there. And you do start to feel like it isn't worth it and that maybe no one in the editing world has any actual taste in literature.

Make any changes you think will make the book stronger, then send it out again.

But in the meantime, do spend some time writing on something else. Don't spend huge amounts of time away from your family. That wouldn't be worth it even if writing was paying you the big bucks. Make a goal to write one-two pages a day.

In six-nine months (depending on how long revisions take you) you'll have a new novel. Send that one out, and the next day start on something new.

Don't pin all of your writing hopes on the success of one novel. You have more than one novel in you and the second one might be the one that gets published and opens up the door for the first one.

Or it might be your third novel or your fourth. Don't stop practicing and don't stop learning all you can about crafting novels.

I've read your stuff. You'll make it if you keep working on it.

Melinda said...

Wow. Ouch. I don't know what else to say other than Janette is right. You'll make it. You're a d@#n good writer, so keep at it. I know my own rejections are coming--once I actually submit something. So, then we can really commiserate together and also become better writers together.
See you Saturday. I'd better see you on Saturday...