I’ve been doing quite a few revisions lately. Some are redrafting, the natural progression of a manuscript and others are following submissions and are in response to editor feedback.
These latter are both easier and more difficult than simple (hah!) redrafting. In redrafting, the story is still finding its shape/tone/voice etc. I might or might not have a market in mind. But in working with an editor in either reworking or ‘tweaking’ a ms, there’s the feeling of getting closer to a sale, despite the knowledge that nothing is certain.
The way I see it, even if the ms doesn’t eventually sell there, it has a good chance of being better than it was before the revisions. So I shouldn’t feel extra anxiety in sending the reworked/tweaked ms. But it doesn’t seem to work that way. It’s like jumping from beam to beam…no drama if they are within centimetres of the ground, but much more anxiety-provoking if the beams are metres high. Same beams, different heights. It’s not about logic.
So, one of the ms I’d been working on for a while with an editor got a ‘sorry, but no sale’ last week. Part of me understands the reasons, and accepts that rejection is part of the game. But there’s another part of me that really would like, even if only for a really short time, gnash, wail and otherwise scream and shout. Don’t want to shout at anyone, just want to shout. I reckon it’s a bit like being a spectator at a 0:0 soccer game. The game goes back and forth, back and forth for so long and then ends with no score. There’s all this emotion that’s had no pressure release.
I’ve realised that for me it’s important to acknowledge and vent that frustration before moving on. So I do stomp around my office a bit, grind and gnash before moving on.
Kinder on the family too.