One day last week my twelve-year-old came home from school and asked what I did all day. Giving into self-pity, I told her I thought about looking for a job.
“But you already have a job,” she said. “You’re a writer.”
“Apparently not a very good one,” I said.
She looked at me thoughtfully and said, “One of those days, uh Mom?”
Yes. It had definitely been one of those days. I was struggling with my WIP and just received my third rejection for a full of my YA in less than a week. Though, the rejections were extremely encouraging and not based on my writing but things out of my control (tough market, agent’s personal taste), they hit me hard. I did what pretty much any writer does – I whined, cried, ate some chocolate and considered getting a “real” job.
My fabulous critique group tried to cheer me up by saying all the right things.
My first reader joked that the one agent probably turned it down because she had the first name as the book’s antagonist.
My sweetheart-of-a-daughter offered to rub my shoulders.
But at the end of the day, the one thing that really helped was this: I sent out another query.
When you’re stuck in the middle of the road and can’t figure out which direction to go, sometimes the only thing you can do is pick up your foot and take a step. Doesn’t matter which direction. Doesn’t matter if the step is big or small. Successful or disastrous.
What matters is that you have the courage to just keep moving.