I thought I might not post an article this weekend; there has been a lot of activity in my brain this week, and I’m rather dizzy from all of it. But writing is often the way for me to arrive at deeper understandings than I could ever reach by mere thinking, and so here I am.
I got my first rejection slip last week. The publisher to whom I sent my book wrote a very encouraging letter, though, and so I am not discouraged. Here’s the excerpt:
“Thank you for submitting the proposal for Inspired to Read, Inspired to Write (nice title!) for [our] consideration. You write clearly and well and have an obvious passion for teaching, and I’ve perused the material with much interest. That said, I must unfortunately also tell you that the book is not a good fit among the other literacy titles in our upcoming publishing season. This should in no way be taken as a reflection of the quality of your work. Many things go into our decision whether or not to publish a particular book.”
Then the letter goes on to suggest two different educational publishing companies that might accept the manuscript. I set to work right away researching the suggested publishers and re-writing my cover letter, but then I allowed myself to take some time to catch my breath and not rush. It’s hard, though, to stop beating myself up; I am a perfectionist and an overachiever, and . . .
And I had lunch yesterday with a dear friend – we hadn’t seen each other in much too long and had a lot of catching up to do. As I bemoaned my feelings of not knowing what I’m going to do after June 20, she asked me the best questions, as she always does. She asked me to describe the possibilities, each open window, so she could get a sense of what directions I was looking toward. We seem to have the dual blessing in our friendship of keeping one another on the right path, making sure that we each continue in a forward direction, and it didn’t take long for her to nail the target. “You need to find a way to quiet yourself, and just let it be. Trust that you’ll know when the right opportunity comes along. And doing nothing for awhile is a choice, too.”
That was exactly what I needed to hear. That choice had popped into my mind just a couple of days ago, and it had been trying to capture my attention in spite of how hard I tried to ignore it. My friend is right. That’s where my compass needs to take me – toward slowing down, letting time stretch itself out after many years of being rushed and bent so that I could fit more in. I’m going to stop spinning my wheels, open all the windows and let in the fresh air.
It won’t be easy. I’ll keep you posted.