Honoring the Process and Opening the Windows

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.



About harleywoman50

I retired from teaching in June 2011, and now am enjoying the good things I never had time to do before: traveling, writing, and creative arts. I also work as an educational consultant specializing in professional development for teachers; in this capacity I teach educators about their personalities using the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Instrument). I teach a course on how to differentiate instruction using type in the classroom, and several other workshops. Life is good.
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6 Responses to Honoring the Process and Opening the Windows

  1. billbirnbaum says:

    Congratulations on having such an insightful friend. And best of luck in find a publisher who’s the right fit for your work. One more thought — try not to become dejected by those who decline to publish your work. Getting published is very difficult and rejection is the norm. Keep at it… you’ll get there. Best, Bill

  2. Thanks, Bill — I am determined not to be discouraged, and if I have to, I’ll self-publish. We’ll see what happens; I’m in no rush.

  3. billbirnbaum says:

    If you have any specific questions about self-publishing, I’d be happy to help. For my first book, I was published by one of the large New York publishing houses, but I didn’t enjoy the experience. So, for my second book (published 2004), I started my own publishing company. I’m soon to self-publish once again. My memoir will launch this spring. With two self-published books under my belt, I’m far from an expert in the field. But I have learned quite a bit and I’d be happy to help you if I can. Bill

  4. Bill — I just might take you up on that offer! I did a small book of poetry this winter, and have looked on two different sites, but I can see how confusing it can be when you have pages with complex formats and illustrations. I appreciate your generosity and will let you know if and when I get to that point.

  5. Janette says:

    Have you tried Corwin or Sage presses? I read for them and their authors are from all over.
    I just found your blog.

    • Hi, Janette – Corwin is one of the companies that was recommended in my rejection letter, and I was not familiar with them so I’ve been looking at their website, etc. And I’m not at all familiar with Sage — are they also educational? Thank you for the suggestions, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading my blog. It’s a great ride!

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