Toddler Boy Running through Golden Gate Park

Chapter 9: Keep Up or Give Up

Today was Mothers’ Day and I was in a total mumfunk! It wasn’t that my husband was away, leaving me with the boys, it had nothing to do with the rejection I had over email last night – it was just one of those days – I was bored and in a funk. Unlike other things in life, you can’t just give up on motherhood, can you? Even trying to escape for 5 minutes to hide under my duvet, resulted with my 4 year old joining me followed by a rendition of The 3 Little Pigs using my bed as the stage! With motherhood, there are no options, other than to just keep going.

Rejection

So yes, I’ve experienced a couple of rejections recently. Nothing too mega – a writing competition where my manuscript wasn’t shortlisted and a challenge organised by the SCBWI where again, my entry wasn’t selected for feedback. I feel like I’m easing myself into a writer’s life of rejections – before they come directly from the agents and publishers that matter most. I did read an article that suggested you aim for 100 rejections per year; if you can submit often enough to be rejected that frequently then you’ll likely have a few opportunities presented to you along the way too.

Opportunity

And I have had some wonderful opportunities: As I mentioned, I’ve joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and through them I have connected up with a picture book critique group, who meets monthly. We’ve met twice already – the first time felt brutal – the second time less so, but both times were really valuable experiences. Hearing how others read and understand your story is completely different to how you may see it yourself. If nothing else, it’s made me become more objective about my writing.

I’ve also booked onto a writers’ retreat during the summer through the society. I cannot wait! Not only for 3 uninterrupted days of writing time, but also for 3 solid days away from mum-duties! (Sorry boys – you know I’ll miss you like crazy when I’m gone.) And of course, I’ve continued to write.

Triumph

I’m really excited to see the bank of work that I will have in a few months. I’ve been working on a few new ideas – all quite different in style and storyline; I’m hopeful that they will show a potential agent the scope of what I can do.

So, yes, today may have been a funk of a day – but there’s no way I’m giving up on my boys. And whilst I may have started down the pathway of countless rejections with my writing, there’s no way I’m giving up on that either. Tomorrow will be a new day with new challenges – and hopefully, if I just keep going, a few triumphs too.

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