My crime novel was rejected today by the second publisher in a month.
I found out at work when I checked my emails on my phone during my lunch break. Not an ideal time. Instead of enjoying my lunch I ended up crying in the toilets.
I finished the novel in October 2015 and this is the third time I sent it out – and the third rejection so it could be worse.
My ego was bruised two weeks ago by a publisher who rejected the novel AFTER asking to see the full manuscript so it now feels like I’ve had the shit kicked out of me.
Since I finished my first novel in October 2014, I’ve discovered I don’t cope very well with the whole rejection thing. I take them personally and end up either crying or contemplating a career in Lidl.
I end up feeling really down and have no motivation. The more I read great books, short fiction and poetry that have been published the worse I feel. Thinking about how Stephen King had enough rejection slips to cover an entire room of his house doesn’t help much either.
When I’m in what I call a writerly funk it seems every other day I read a news article about some seventeen year old who scored a ten book deal, or some unknown writer who landed £2 million for their first novel.
To be a writer you need a thick skin and I’ve discovered I don’t have one. My skin is quite thin and bruises easily.
I find myself at a crossroads.
For about eight months I’ve been toying with the idea of self-publishing. I have no funds to pay for anything so I’d need to do the whole thing for free including designing the cover. I’ve done research and would use something like Smashwords for the e-book and Lulu for paperbacks and hardbacks.
I’ve never gone further than just ‘looking into it’. I’m not quite brave enough to take such a big leap.
Normally when something is rejected I wait a few days and send it out again. Not this time though. My ego needs to fully recover. Another bruise would be too much to handle.
I don’t want to cry anymore. I’m sort of tired of it. I just want to write. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Since I was a kid I’ve been making up stories. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been good at. I don’t have a degree or a career to fall back on. I work in a call centre and the thought of being there for much longer makes me want to scream. If I didn’t have my writing I don’t know what I’d do or who I’d be.
I write therefore I am!
I’m going to take a few weeks to decide what I really want to do. The way I see it I have a few options:
- Self-publish, starting off with something small like a poetry collection
- Keep sending my novels to agents/publishers in the hope it will be picked up – preferably before my hair turns white or I die of old age
- Set a timescale of how long I’ll try agents / publishers and self-publish after this time has passed (day three months, by January 2017)