Monday, October 8, 2007

"Don't Count Your Chickens..."

Ring a bell? Remember the old adage, Don't count your chickens, before they are hatched? My Grandmother use to warn me of this all the time.... Funny how Grandmothers are never wrong!

Well, I've learned this lesson (again) the hard way.

Let me explain:

A while back, I received an acceptance letter from the editor of an anthology. It had been decided that my story would be included. I received, read, signed, and returned my contract. All was well....or so I thought.

Months went by, and I grew more and more excited about the thought of my special memory being published in this nostalgic anthology.

I even told people my story would be included in this upcoming anthology!

Last night, I received a phone call from the editor. I thought it strange that an editor would call at night, but anxiously answered to find out the reason.

"Hello," I answered.

"I need to speak to Michele Tune." She said.

"This is she," I replied.

"Oh, I'll just go ahead and tell you," She sighed. "It's with a heavy heart, I must tell you that your story has been cut from the book."

"Oh, ok." I said, trying not to sound "sad."

She explained. They had received so many submissions relating to the same theme, they decided to change the whole focus of the book to that angle, which meant 15 of the stories (although the editor assured me they were 15 very well written stories) had to be cut because they no longer "fit the needs of the book."

This editor felt so bad. She told me she just felt terrible.

Of course, I told her it was fine (and, it is) because I completely understand. The theme of the book changed, with good cause. And, some of the stories no longer worked, and mine was one of them.

So, I've said all that to say this. Listen up blogger/writer friends:

Things like this happen. It's sad, sometimes heart-breaking, but it happens. This is where a true writer "shines."

It's at times like this, a tender-hearted writer will push away from pen and paper (or in our day, keyboard), and let their dreams of being a successful writer fade into the far distance.

Am I sad? Yes. Who wouldn't be? I see no point in telling a lie, when the fact is I'm really disappointed! Will I let this little bump in the road slow me down on my way to my dreams? NO!

I've learned that my greatest disappointments and rejections, come right before the best news I've yet to receive!

To top that off, after I sat down at my computer to try and decide which market I would send my story to next (because that's what I do), I noticed an email from another editor. A big, fat rejection was in that email. There again, I began to toss that article around in my head and ponder the next market I would submit it to.

We are winners, either way. We will make it, but only if we persist and take the bad with the good.

Keep in mind that book authors receive 50 + rejections from publishers before their book manuscripts are accepted a lot of times. Could you keep submitting that manuscript?

It's the faithful, dedicated, ever-learning, persistent writers that make it in this world. I'm going to be one of them, are you?

I have a lot of "eggs" out there. I continuously submit articles, inspirational stories, and query different publications. I receive a lot of rejections, but I'm also really beginning to receive a lot of acceptance emails "Good News from so and so", etc. I love emails with"Good news" in the subject line!

I am very determined, so I will accept the reality that my story had to be cut, as well as the other rejection I received last night, and I'll move on. That's the advice I give, because that's what I do on any given day.

Oh, and DON'T count your chickens BEFORE they've hatched! Our Grandmothers knew what they were talking about.

When you receive rejection letters/emails or even find out your story/article has been cut, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue writing the cyber highway!!!!