Waiting and the moment of rejection.

This evening on my Twitter feed, people are chatting about “waiting”.

They’ve sent their manuscripts off to publishers/competitions/agents and are now twitching over their inboxes. I imagine they’ve probably run through all the possible responses – Will the agent/editor love it?  Will they love it but want teensy weensy changes? Will they think it’s ok but needs loads of work? Will they hate it? Or worst, will they be utterly indifferent to it, and just send out a standard rejection slip.

I expect that they’re also experiencing wild mood swings, wondering if the manuscript they’ve laboured over for months is a work of genius or complete pants.

They’ll be aware that a week isn’t long enough, but is eight weeks too long?

They’ll know they should go out, go for another walk, go to a movie, but they can’t help keening over their emails.

I know, I’ve been there.

I can’t help you much with the waiting – just do the things you should have done months ago like evict the moths from the cupboard under the stairs, or write your thank you letters for the Christmas before last, but for the rejections, and they may well happen, I can  suggest making a “rejection box.”

Filling the “rejection box” is actually quite fun. Get a cardboard box and pack it with things you love, but you know you shouldn’t eat , – in my case, Tunnocks Tea Cakes (you know, the yummy mallow things with a crunchy chocolate bottom), Mateus Rose (not as nice as I remember) Pot Noodles (the green ones) , bags of cashew nuts, Turkish delight, sugared almonds, and chocolate, loads of chocolate.  Put plenty of treats in there.  I shared this process with my kids, we put things in there for them too.

We wrote “Rejection Box” on the side in large black letters, so that no-one could steal anything by accident.

Then, any time, any of us experienced rejection, we took something out.  I’m glad to say that I haven’t taken anything out for a year or so, but I hit it hard before that. The children have raided it too.

For me, it was a lifeline. I re-read offending emails while sinking my teeth into Green and Blacks finest; planned my next step, the next story, with the heady whiff of pot noodle floating up to the skylight.   The best thing was that the comforts were there to hand straight away; the moment I turned away from the screen, there was a treat waiting to console me and they made me feel much better, straight away.

Not that anyone’ll get any rejections of course.

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