Yesterday was, as they say, a day.
It started off with an email notifying me that I’d received an editorial review on my novel (as in, a review from a professional book reviewer I’ve never met, who has no obligation to like the book OR lie and say they do in an effort to spare my feelings and/or those of my family).
Cue the palpitations, full-body flicker of nerves and wave of mild nausea. This feeling is not new; quite a lot of industry professionals have reviewed — and rejected — these same pages en route to this point (like, a LOT).
Best to get it over with, I always say. Except I can’t actually read the review, because I need to log into the author portal I set up with them months ago and while I’m sure I have the correct password, it won’t let me in.
No sooner does my “reset password” link arrive do I realize I’m about to be late for a fifteen-minute appointment.
Which then gets extended to thirty minutes.
And ends up taking forty-five.
By the time I get back to my inbox, two more editorial reviews are now also waiting (I’m not sure the odds of this happening. Somewhere in the ballpark of blue pigs flying past my window?).
Briefly, I consider pouring myself a glass of wine — even though it’s eleven a.m. and I really dislike wine.
I read the reviews, and they’re good.
They’re really good.
Now I’m laying on the floor next to my desk. Paisley the SuperPup cocks her head, puzzled but not all that surprised.
I recall the record six No Thank You’s I received in one day awhile back, on the same book. Some of them based on the same elements of the book that these reviewers have specifically praised.
That, too, was a day — and on paper, not much different from this one. Certainly, the physiology was the same (I call it setting your inbox to “Defibrillator Mode”). Certainly, I spent an untold amount of time laying on the floor next to my desk.
I respect and appreciate the feedback of the three experienced reviewers who liked my book, just as much as I do those of all 130+ experienced agents, presses and publishers who previously rejected it. I’m not sure how to weigh one against the other — and hence, whether it makes any sense that I should be getting verklempt over either.
I think of a quote by Brad Meltzer, as highlighted by my friend Sarah Miller in her wonderful Sanity Protection Project podcast (Episode 3-3-23):
“We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. It just depends on the day.”
Similarly, in this short clip, Tom Hanks dispenses a priceless spin on “this too shall pass.” To paraphrase, he reminds us: if you’re at a low point, don’t worry, it will pass — and if you’re finally feeling like you’ve got the hang of things, don’t worry, it will pass.
At the end of the day, it’s not you. You’re just . . . having a day.
4 thoughts on “It Just Depends On The Day”
Brilliant perspective brought to us by the time you spend on your floor. Thank you for being you and sharing it!
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You were right — it’s safer there! Soft carpet too. Highly recommend.
I am terrified of getting to the point where I have agents and reviewers reading my work. But I have a sweet pup and a carpeted spit to hang out with her. Thanks for preparing those of us behind you. I love your blog!!
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Sounds like you are well prepared Kristi!! It is terrifying to be so vulnerable in that way — when the work comes from inside us, it’s deeply personal by definition lol… But agents etc do get that, and even the rejections are compassionate (as far as I’ve experienced). Plus you will have all of us to cheer you on!