setbacks

Despite the inspiring conversation we’ve had over the past 2 weeks in response to the last post on inspiration (thanks to everyone who participated in the conversation) I’m feeling a bit down this week.

I just rec’d my first rejection from a publisher. I was so very lucky with the proposal for “Before You Say Yes …” in that the first publisher I approached wanted it. The process was quick and painless.  The concept  was born (in my head) in March, 2009. The book was written the end of June/09. Editing process completed by September and book published by February and released in March, 2010.

I am experiencing a very different process with Chocolatour. I have been researching this book since the fall of 2009 and have been massaging and polishing the proposal since November/09. Granted, that was far too early, as the proposal has gone through several evolutions since then and my research is ongoing. But I feel that I am in a pregnancy that has gone past term and the baby is ready to be born!

My sincere thanks to publishing professionals, Katharine Sands and Erin Reel, who have generously given me their input and shared their ex

Keeping the faith despite setbacks

Keeping the faith despite setbacks

pertise out of friendship and mutual respect. With their help, the proposal for Chocolatour has evolved into what I had hoped was an irresistible work of art.

But in today’s publishing world, economics prevail over the mastery of art. I was ever-so-nicely told by the publisher I approached that although they like my idea and welcome future proposals from me, they must pass on Chocolatour as in today’s economy, every title is chosen very carefully and must fill a hole in their proposed lineup for the year.

This unexpected and unwelcome setback has sent me back to the drawing board. I must regroup, rethink and carefully strategize my next move. I know that I have a winning proposal. I believe in the project. I am encouraged by the words of others. But I am ready to rock the world with a book that is sure to find its way into the hands of every chocolate-loving woman on this planet.

This all got me thinking about how others deal with setbacks. They must have more patience than me!

 

How about you? How do you keep the faith in what you are doing when faced with a setback? Seems to me I should have written this post before the one on inspiration. I’ll have to go back and read all your comments. But all kidding aside, I long to hear your thoughts about how you have dealt with or are dealing with what feels like a significant setback in your work, your goals or your dreams. 

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

17 Responses

  1. Amanda Le Rougetel says:

    First, stop. Second, breathe. Third, remember that rejection is a natural and normal step along the road to success. Fourth, regroup.

    I try to regroup by being fiercely honest with myself and asking: Were my expectations realistic? Did I do everything I could to make that first step go how I wanted it to? Was the outcome 100% in my control or were out-of-my-control factors influencing the outcome? What else can success look like for me with this work?

    With the answers to these question WRITTEN DOWN in front of me, I then coach myself through my next steps which can include creating an entirely different goal, targeting a new audience, finding a new collaborator, planning a new timeline…you name it. Plan B is needed, so Plan B is what I have to create.

    In your specific case, you’re up against some pretty serious realities that are simply that: realities in today’s publishing world. How about engaging in some research that might show you what other options exist for you to get your book into the hands of the readers you’re wanting to reach. For example, maybe one of the new-fangled independent publishing channels is a possibility?

    Regardless of all this, hang in there, Doreen. This is merely a setback not a roadblock.

  2. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for your encouragement, Amanda, and for your thoughtful response. Funny thing is that I've never really been one to write down goals. I know. I can hear the gasps from people reading this, as many, many people feel it is necessary to write them down. And I can see by your response that you are likely in this camp.

    I know you are right in that my setback is temporary, and for the most part, beyond my control. I will definitely feel more optimistic when the sun comes out. Dark days outdoors make me feel dark inside, and unfortunately, we've had some seasonal problems surfacing with the house and unexpected repair bills are coming in, so it all starts to look bleak.

    But you and others know me. I am an eternal optimist, and know that tomorrow will be a brighter day, figuratively and hopefully, literally!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Let rejection fuel you: http://suzanneboles.wordpress.com/2009/08/25/let-rejection-fuel-you/. I am still pushing my first book, but moving on to another proposal as well. I think we all get down for a while, then bounce back. This is a minor setback. Your book will see the light of day and will be embraced by readers everywhere!

  4. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for posting the link to your original blog post on this subject, Suzanne! Hard to believe that you posted that nearly 2 years ago! I certainly sounded more chippy and optimistic in my reply to that post than I was feeling this morning. Thanks for reminding me to keep my chin up! And that we are indeed writers, arm-in-arm (like 'brothers in arm') only nicer.

    Cheers, and may we both get that contract we are seeking.

  5. Jay Remer says:

    No one enjoys disappointing news. Setbacks in the publishing industry are the norm, I have found anyway. I too breezed through my first book (sold out the 5000 printed in two years). The two new ones are another story. Agents are disrespectful and self-important – two qualities I have little patience for. When I do face depression, I find that I am not living in the moment and am not being grateful for what I have. Our egos have enormous power and much of the time, especially when we are experiencing pain, fatigue, and confusion, they are unhealthy. Try sitting quietly (meditate if you do that) and ask your inner wisdom for information. Listen to it carefully and repeat this three days in a row. You will be amazed at the clarity which can result. Be of good cheer. You are a good egg and this will all work out.

  6. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks very much for your kind words, Jay, and for the remedy to contact my inner wisdom. I will try and make contact with her later. Right now, as you guessed, I am fatigued, distracted (have had a workman in the house all week) and disillusioned. So I don't think she'd answer my call.

    But knowing I have supportive friends who have all shared similar moments of setback and frustration ensures me I am in good company. Bless you.

  7. Jay Remer says:

    Trust your inner wisdom to be there when you need 'her'. Your ego has you in a vice grip. Let it go, if only for a short while. You need to have some compassion for yourself. That's not what I'm hearing right now. Let the distractions go. They are pointing out where you are resisting. What you resist persists. Please, let it go. Exhale. Smile. And keep doing so as long as it takes. You'll be surprised how quickly this can happen. I promise!

  8. wizardofwords says:

    Oh, Jay. If, only! Right now, there are drills and saws buzzing and once again, there is a workman here to get HIS job done. Hard for me to focus on mine. If only I could lock myself away and meditate/focus.

    I promise to keep the ego in check and seek wisdom from my inner self as soon as I am able. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

  9. Merle says:

    Hi Doreen,
    I know that as a new writer, I often forget how far I've come in a short period of time. When I read your accomplishments – the articles you've written and where you've published them – and you've written a book – I can't help but be impressed.

    When I need inspiration I look at what I've accomplished and where I came from and know that I'm on a path that will continue – that when I'm ready, the answer will come, and that someone with the information I need will appear. I know this sounds a bit hokey – and it's not easy to do, but it seems to work.

    Looking forward to meeting you in Montreal at the PWAC conference.

    Merle Rosenstein

  10. Merle says:

    Hi Doreen,
    I know that as a new writer, I often forget how far I've come in a short period of time. When I read your accomplishments – the articles you've written and where you've published them – and you've written a book – I can't help but be impressed.

    When I need inspiration I look at what I've accomplished and where I came from and know that I'm on a path that will continue – that when I'm ready, the answer will come, and that someone with the information I need will appear. I know this sounds a bit hokey – and it's not easy to do, but it seems to work.

    Looking forward to meeting you in Montreal at the PWAC conference.

    Merle

  11. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks so much for joining the blog, Merle, and for your kind comments.

    I love your faith in that good things come to those who wait. I will hold onto that faith, with hope that the right person/agent/publisher will guide me thru the process and soon have Chocolatour in the hands of the chocolate lovers of the world.

  12. DazyDayWriter says:

    Hi Wizard! Well, follow the yellow brick road, of course! Keep trying and your book will find a home. Rejection isn't necessarily a bad thing; it just is. Accept it and move on. Eckhart Tolle would say: When we resist "what is" we are telling the universe we don't approve of the way things are being handled. Try to see it as a non-event. Take care!! (there's an inspirational author in sunnyroomstudio this week; enjoy!)

  13. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for the words of inspiration, Daisy.

    Yes, I'm now OK with the way things are. It took me a few days to get over the fact that things won't happen as quickly as I'd like, but that's OK. I know that developing my patience is one of my goals in this lifetime. So … on we go.

  14. Michael OReilly says:

    It's such a great idea — this Chocolate book — I'm sure you'll find a publisher who will snatch it up. Who doesn't love chocolate!

  15. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks, Mike. Keeping sending those positive vibes. I can feel a contract coming on …

  16. Wendy Peck says:

    Doreen — coming in late with this. Perhaps you have a publisher by now. 🙂

    Have you thought of self-publishing? I did four books with a publisher, and I wouldn't do it that way again. My experience wasn't bad in any way, just disappointing in how much they helped to promote the book. I figure if I have to do all the ground promotion, I would rather have all the profits. You'd be surprised how few books you must sell to earn back the initial print run.

    I haven't completed one this way, yet … However, many of the requires skills are what I do for a living, and I would be happy to do a brainstorming session with you on the hows and whys of self-publishing. I'm pretty sure you have the skills on board to do it successfully.

    The sweet part is that you don't have to start with a publisher to end up with one. If you have good sales through Web and maybe Amazon, you can still do distribution agreements, etc.

    Give me a call if you are interested and we can chew through a bunch of ideas.

  17. wizardofwords says:

    Hi Wendy: I wish!

    No such luck with a publishing contract yet. I have chosen not to self-publish this book b/c there will be lots of complications such as International Rights & translations, planning overseas launches, etc. The first edition is on Europe and that will be an important market for this book.

    I am attending the MEA's workshop on self-publishing in May, as well as the TWUC conference. I'm hoping to get more information that will help me move forward.

    Thanks so much for the information, and let's keep in touch.

    Doreen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge