Friday, May 23, 2008
Eliminate the negative?
I was having a declutter today, with a view to moving Stuff back into the room with the shiny new floorboards and almost completed fireplace. I didn't mean to. I was searching for an orthodontic appointment letter and got carried away.
In the midst of a ton of paperwork I came across some rejection letters from my First-Ever Novel. Curious, I read through them thinking, bloody hell, I don't even remember some of these. They were oddly positive. One agent wrote a good two pages suggesting possible changes and suggested I re-submit when I'd done them. Trouble was, at the time (nearly five years ago) all I saw in those letters was Get Lost, You're Not Good Enough. I wasn't experienced enough to know that receiving anything but a standard reply-slip from an agent was a Good Thing. I simply thought bloody charming that is, had a cry, went all negative, deleted (yes, deleted) the manuscript from my PC, stuck the letters in a drawer and didn't do much else for a while.
Honest to god! I could kick myself in the teeth. What was I (not)thinking?? It also struck me like a boxing glove that those agents/publishers thought I was on to 'something' and, try as I have since then, it's a something I can't seem to replicate. What was it? I enjoyed writing it, that's for sure. I also wrote it at the speed of light because I stupidly sent out the first three chapters before I'd written the rest and got 2 requests for the full ms. I didn't even edit the damn thing.
There's a lesson in there somewhere. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I found something.
I'm hoping someone can tell me what it was.