Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NO MATTER HOW PRETTY IT’S WRAPPED—REJECTION STINKS

Last week, I took my two youngest kids to Peralta Trail at the base of the Superstition Mountain. I figured that no native Arizonian should live their life without hiking it.

Then I looked on the website—it’s a 4.5 mile hike—uphill. Gulp!
(Who knew the back of the Superstition was so interesting???)
Writing a novel and getting it published is like this. You have a goal—it seems like a good goal—and then halfway into it, you’re worn to a frazzle and don’t know if you’ll live through the experience. Can I make it to the top?
(There is no end in sight.)
Yes. I was rejected today. They said my manuscript was beautifully written and encouraged me to get it published—by someone else. My road to publication is like walking uphill in the desert over a bunch of rocks and along the edge of a cliff—one setback after another.
(Looking back when we're only an hour into the hike. Do you see the parking lot? Exactly!)
We’d walked a mile and I was already tired, and hot, and my legs were wobbly, and I wondered if anything could be worth all this effort. Had I packed enough water? Would I collapse and need air-evacuated out?
(This is interesting. My daughter had enough energy to climb it.)
(This is me--I had to take another break. Notice I'm wearing red so I'll be spotted easily just in case the air-evac helicopter is called.)

Then, two twenty-somethings sprinted past us. “Show-off!” Yes, I smiled and moved out of their way, but I was jealous and wishing that I could have ever-in-my-life ran up a hill. [This is also like my publishing career. Some authors have sprinted right past me and gotten their novels published easily.]
In truth, this was my first ever 10-mile hike uphill (I swear the 4.5 statistics are wrong on this one), so I’m pleased that I made it at all.
(The end is somewhere past there. We've already had 50 people pass us--including people older than me by ten years.)

Three-quarters of the way up, I was seriously re-evaluating things. This wasn’t fun—why was I doing it? “You can do it. You’re almost there,” a stranger said. “You’ll be glad you did. It’s beautiful at the top.”
(Still looking back, and wondering which is worse--going forward or going back.)

Okay then. This little boost of encouragement by someone I’d never met, gave me the incentive to go all the way to the top. [My writing friends are like this. They keep encouraging me. I keep improving my skills and one day I'll be at the top (published).]
It was a beautiful view. What made it even more glorious is that I hadn’t given up. I had endured to the end (well, other than still needing to hike back down).
(I've never seen Weaver's Needle from this side--or this close up.)
(These are pretty interesting rocks. I'm really glad I came.)
But yesterday someone asked about the hieroglyphics. What hieroglyphics? I hadn’t seen any.
(My kids have the energy to climb them. I don't.)
(We met my grandson and his Scout Troop at the top.)
My grandson asked if we’d seen the cave. What cave? I hadn’t seen a cave.

Sometimes I’m so focused on my goal that I forget to enjoy the scenery along the way--but the stuff I did see was pretty amazing.

3 comments:

Jennifer Griffith said...

Awesome photos, fantastic analogy. I love the red t-shirt. I think mine would have to be red and phosphorescent. Bless you for being such a good sport about hiking. And keep on writing!

Joyce DiPastena said...

As painful as rejections are (and they ARE painful!), a personalized rejection that calls your writing "beautiful" is still something to celebrate and definitely something to give you hope! Keep on writing, keep on submitting... You're gonna make it, Tina!

Tina Scott, the writing artist said...

You two are my dearest friends. I love you both! I will be a published author, or I'll die trying. Maybe all my stuff will be published posthumously--like some of the great artists. They'll say, "She was ahead of her time." haha I know, that's not funny.