Monday, June 8, 2015

The Comeback Kid

This is the first time I have written anything other than the three children’s book manuscripts I have been working on for the last few months.  And when I say “working,” I mean casually making edits here and there.  To be honest, when I first found out Scholastic was interested in my children's book which I had already self-published two years ago, I created three new picture book manuscripts within one week.  When I have my heart and head in the game, I am in it to win it.
Love Head and Heart

However, after not hearing back from my contact (she is the Senior rep in Scholastic’s Marketing Department), the fears of rejection slowly began to settle in.  Days turned into weeks... weeks turned into months... and here we are, in June, and still no word.  I even reached out to her husband who I had once been in contact with time and time again (he sold me my Acura which is how this all began) and even our email exchanges have ceased to exist.
I love volunteering to read and work with kids at low income schools but when I heard about the possibility of my contact helping forward my writing career, I volunteered at as many schools as I could, even working full time at my job.  I drove all over the inner cities of Northern N.J. to places no others would even dare to visit.  I didn't care.  I wanted to be there with the children and with United Way by my side, my references were as tight as jar of pickles.  My contact is a huge advocate for reading and education in low income schools and since I already volunteered last year and loved it, I figured I dedicate all of my free time in doing it again to further impress Scholastic. 
I am in the brown behind the left side of the poster=)

So not only did I feel rejected, but I felt my whole world come crumbling down.  I had to go to work after I had poured out the possibility of having a contract with one of my favorite and most admired publishing companies.  I had to face my boss day after day, knowing that I wouldn’t be writing from home for years to come and instead, I would be working for her for years to come.  I don’t hate my job but the idea of having to commute amongst the endless New Jersey traffic made me cringe, especially since I imagined myself typing effortlessly while staring out toward my beautiful view of trees, mountains and perpetual skies instead of banging my head against the steering wheel.  
Disappointment turned into sadness which turned into anger which eventually eroded into resentment and a full on case of depression as quickly as magma and ashes suffocated Pompeii.  I tried to deflect any pain and anger I felt into something more soulful but I couldn’t.  The colors of my mind which once painted my stories were dead to me.  I abandoned my blog and sadly, all of my bold and beautiful fellow authors, bloggers and dear friends here as well as the tremendous authors and friends I have made under my other alias.

The hardest part about all of this is having to confess these things to you.  Knowing that I copped out of all of the things I believed in made my fears of returning even more unbearable.  I became more afraid of blogging and preaching about things I no longer believed in.  It was the first time in my life I felt empty and didn’t want to write anymore.

And slowly, friends and family like my mother and the incredibly talented Chrys Fey and Sandra Cox, made me realize we all fail at least one, two, twenty, maybe even over 100 times when it comes to this business.  And it’s okay to take breaks but not to allow those breaks to interfere with our goals.  It’s people like them and you who I am eternally grateful for. 
At first, when Chrys told me she named one of her characters after me, I felt sad.  I felt like I didn't deserve such an honor because I caved into my fears for the last few months.  But after thinking more about it, I actually do feel quite honored.  After realizing I have been way too hard on myself, I had to move my sadness to a place where it could no longer affect my goals and imagination.  

I missed you all very much but I needed this for my sanity.  I started working out more, lifting lots of weights at the gym (I am up to curling 25 pounds on each arm) running harder, taking up some spinning classes, scrapbooking, spending time with my rescue kitties and watching lots of my all time favorite movies and classics.  By the way, Cheex and Luna are slowly coming around.  Luna was our first rescue kitty and then Felix surprised me with Cheex for Valentine's Day.  We love them both so much!

I’m ready to submerge myself back into my work again.  I’m also thinking about joining the IWSG, something Chrys suggested.  Especially now that I know how it feels to be rejected by the company I have loved and respected ever since I was a child.
Everyone has a special talent they use to paint the world with.  I use my writing to inspire children and hopefully, other authors and bloggers who pass by my blog.  Writing lives and breathes within us.  Our minds are constantly working on stories, even in our sleep.  I don't know who I would be if I wasn't a writer.  Probably a body builder, ha!
Don't give up and if you ever feel down, shoot me an email and I will do my best to pick you up like other amazing friends and authors have done for me.

Have you ever given up or taken breaks before?  If so, how did you feel about the time you were gone?  And if you haven't, what keeps you motivated?  How do you deal with rejection?