Thursday, August 18, 2016

Waiting & Rejection

From my Calla Book Collection
Brevity is one of the writing blogs I occasionally follow, and a post titled "Turning the Tables:  The Art of Waiting" caught my attention. Sandra A. Miller and Marc Zegans shared their feelings about waiting to hear from a publisher after submitting a proposal, beginning with the basic truth:  "Waiting sucks!"  It was Marc who offered the best solution:  "The key is to not wait."

I probably think he offered the best advice because that is my approach as well.  Of course, what makes waiting so difficult is the fear of rejection, and Marc has a suggestion to confront that fear:  "...we can simply admit it, tell a friend, decide what we'll do if things don't turn out as hoped, and then plunge back into life."  So, here I am telling my blog friends that I am awaiting a reply from a publisher to whom I have submitted a proposal for Bachelor Homesteader.  

From my Children's Books Collection
I am way ahead of his advice about plunging back into life.  One way I do that is by reading.  I even found a study reported by Nicholas Bakalar in which researchers using data from 3,635 people over the age of 50 (who were participating in a larger health study) divided the sample into three groups:  non-book readers, readers up to 3 1/2 hours a week, and readers more than 3 1/2 hours a week.  They found that book readers lived, on average, almost 2 1/2 years longer than non-book readers, with the 3 1/2 hours or less 17% less likely to die over the 12 years of follow-up and those reading more 23% less likely to die over that period.  Even reading half an hour each day had a significant survival advantage.  For newspaper and periodical readers there were significant but weaker survival advantages.  Wow!  Just another reason to read books!!

With all the focus on construction projects recently, there are things besides reading books that I enjoy but have neglected.  One of those things is spending time at my drawing board, and the pencil drawing of Father Time for my New Year's post was my last time in my studio.  But, at last I sat down to draw a portrait I have wanted to do since my subjects were about 2-year-olds, and now they are young scholars.  I also did a drawing of our cat.  Children and pets are my favorite subjects.

Quilt in progress with old machine
Another thing I enjoy is quilting, and my husband bought me a wonderful new sewing machine over two and a half years ago that hasn't sewn a stitch since we brought it home.  I have completed the task of straightening up my sewing room so I can get to my machine, which is at least a start.  I started once before, trying to discipline myself by beginning step-by-step, reading the instructions page-by-page before actually plugging in the machine.  I didn't get beyond the pages identifying all the parts!  My current approach is just to plug in the machine and go for it!  Even if I break my promise to finally do some sewing, at least the sewing room is neat as a apt cliche'.  

Marc's advice recommended doing a mini-project, suggesting "Pick[ing] something small that will take your mind off things then reward yourself for doing it."  Maybe confronting all the challenges of my fancy sewing machine is too much.  But, then again, I am typing this on my new computer with Windows 10, so how much harder can the sewing machine be?

Cross your fingers for me that this publisher will like my proposal.  And invite all your friends to my blog and my author's face book page so I can show a publisher a devoted following.  I spent much of the late spring and early summer editing and tightening the manuscript, and I confess that having laid it aside for such a long time made me  more brutally objective in my editing.  I believe the manuscript is stronger, and I hope the editor reading the sample chapters that accompanied my proposal agrees.  In the meantime, I may just start a quilt!


Kim said...

Good luck on the book proposal. I have a children's book I'd love to get published. We'll see.

I'm glad to read the statistics about longevity and book reading. I am in the 3.5-hour-plus category and have been since I was a little girl.

Enjoy your diversion activities - whether it's quilting, painting, reading or something else!

Anne and Chuck Current said...

Just plunge in on your new sewing machine but keep the instruction book handy. That's what I did. Plus classes at our local quilt shop. I like to do table runners and have seasonal hanging quilts that I put on the front door.

Hope a publisher takes your book soon. I for one can't wait to read it!

Talya Tate Boerner said...

I know you will find the right publisher. Yours is a story that needs to be told. I find it fascinating!

Debbie Hackbarth said...

Good luck in any and everything you do. You are a doer and we need more of them.