Thirty days ago I was in a hotel in Washington DC for a conference. Before it started in earnest, I did the one thing that scared me the most – I submitted my manuscripts.
After that, the waiting began. In that time I read a lot, went to the literary festival, hung out with my friends, did my day job, and took advantage of a rare chance to be coached by a published author. I did everything possible to not wait.
A few things happened: I found a fabulous mystery series, met a Stormtrooper, had lunch with the most recognizable author I’ve met so far, and reconnected with my life. I also got some excellent coaching on how to improve my writing. Which, honestly, was like closing the barn door once the horse was out. “Oh . . . so this is what I should have done. Well . . . crap.”
So the “no” from my first submission was expected. Actually, it made me happier than “yes.” Don’t get me wrong, an acceptance would have rocked. However, knowing what I know now, I would have been worried about any publisher that would have taken the manuscript as it was submitted. I wanted the chance to fix it.
The important lesson: No didn’t kill me. No one cut off my fingers or took away my computer. I get a chance to learn and improve – and that’s what I intend to do.