Monday, May 12, 2014

Keep Calm...and Carry On?

I have been mulling over how I can mention this to all of you without having you feel sorry for us or shake your heads, feeling the sting of the disappointment that Jenn and I felt when we were told “No”.

It’s actually not the kind of no that you may be thinking. I mean, it was definitely a “no, we aren’t ready to publish your book right now and make you millions”, but the sentences that surrounded the “no” were priceless and heartfelt. We are ever so grateful for them. When Jenn and I started this adventure, one of the things that we read about the most was how to handle the rejection. Because there is A LOT of it. We have sensitive writer hearts so trying to prepare ourselves to hear “no” over and over wasn’t something that we wanted to practice. We have been pretty lucky so far with the encouragement and feedback that we have gotten from people that we admire. Our journey has just begun and we have been riding our wave of excitement from our very first conference back in January! Overall, we finally received the email we had been waiting for over two months. With nervous anticipation we opened it together and read the first line…(keep calm…)

“Hi Jennifer and Holly,

Thanks very much for your patience with me on POWER OF 7. There is a lot to love here, but I am afraid I am going to pass on the chance to go further with this project.”

We both sighed heavily and our hearts sank in unison. Not the first line we were hoping to read.

Then, as Jenn read on out loud, a few thoughts came to mind. We felt rushed with our first edit and should have asked for more time. Establishing a longer timeline would have given us a more thorough edit and we could have paced ourselves. In the past few months during our time of waiting, we were able to see several areas we would have developed more clearly and even some new elements that we would have added to make the story the compelling one we envision in our dreams. (so here comes the Carry On part…)

My first reaction of course was a big let-down. Should we keep at it? And then… How could we not? I was steadfast for about 24 hours. Then my doubts crept in. Am I good enough? Can I do this? Do I even have any talent? Am I dragging Jenn down? I was in a bad place for about five days. My confidence went down the toilet. I lost my voice. I had almost decided that it would be best for me to say goodbye to this dream for now. Then, I remembered why we had started writing in the first place. It was fun. It was challenging and exhilarating. It made my heart sing. Jenn and I always encouraged each other to try our best and to get up and try again if it didn’t go so great the first time. So I turned my back on the nagging doubts that threatened to pull me down and I prayed, A LOT! I re-committed to the words and found my voice again. My faith in the words and the partner, to whom I am so indebted, brought me back to what is real. I am forever grateful.

In the end, this agent that we have grown to respect, gave us some very kind words,

“I wish I had better news for you – you are clearly a talented writing team and I wanted to make a connection with this one. We would love to look at new projects if you don’t place this one.”

She also reminded us that every agent looks at a manuscript in a different way and encouraged us to keep looking. She offered to look at this story again once our revisions are what we would like them to be. So REALLY it was good news, probably the best “rejection” letter we could have received!

So please, do not tell us you‘re sorry, and don’t be sad, because this is the beginning of a really great thing. We are writers and we are committed to telling our story in the best way possible. For those of you that are waiting to be our beta-readers, it is coming! Thank you for being patient and we hope it will be worth your wait! We will continue to keep you up to date on all of our progress and whatever news we have to share. Until then, we will be hard at work getting our edits done and we will do our best at blogging and posting on FB. Thank you friends for your unending love and support! We treasure you!

Carrying On...{H & J}

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