SYTYCW? No, Apparently I Can’t

Which means I got an R and a bog standard R at that. Thanks but no thanks, your story was ‘not strong enough’. Now, of course, Rs are not new to me. But this has the dubious honour of being the first form R I’ve ever had. No, I’ve never had one. Welcome to the jungle, I hear you say. And fair enough, it’s probably about time the negative karma comes round to me and balances things out. I have to be honest with you though, I like my own jungle where all my Rs have feedback!

Anyway, there are various negative ways of looking at this:

1. I have learned nothing in the three years I have been honing my craft.
2. My synopsis was NOT the best one I’d ever done, even though I thought it was pretty good (see number 1).
3. I got the line completely wrong.
4. I got the voice completely wrong.
5. The chapter sucked. The synopsis sucked. My writing sucks. I suck.

Or there are the positive ways:

1. They had so many entries and since mine was one of the last, they wanted to get rid of it as quickly as possible so a form was quickest.
2. The wrong editor read it and perhaps someone from the UK office would have been more favourable to it.
3. It was a gamble and it didn’t work. Still have two other subs in…

Notice how the negatives outweigh the positives? Still trying to come up with some more positives!

What didn’t help is that the ed I have been working with for my Riva subs let me know that she won’t be able to get back to me till mid-March. It’s not her fault and I’m really happy that she let me know but….man, I’m getting really sick of being in Unpublished Author Waiting Limbo!

Okay, so sucky day for me today. I’m still at the bottom of the well and currently have no idea how to climb out. Hugs appreciated though.

40 thoughts on “SYTYCW? No, Apparently I Can’t”

  1. Julia – thanks and also, yum!

    Judy – thanks to you too! The Hammer Pants is on hiatus until I hear from the ed. Can’t bear to spend any more time on something that may not come off!

  2. Jackie

    First lots of hugs – what a rubbish day!


    If you weigh (rather than number) the positives against the negatives I really think the positives would win.

    Because you know you have a voice, you also have an editor (!!!) and mid March is only a few weeks away… so I believe we will all be at the bar celebrating something positive for you very soon.

    Nina x

    PS And sub your SYTYCW entry – I bet its great!

  3. Jackie, Jackie, Jackie. I was soooo sure that this time would be THE time for you. Have a good wallow and then do something to lift your spirits – shopping, meditating, girls night out, dinner out, day spa whatever it takes.

    Want some more positives?
    4. This, too, is a learning experience from which you will grow and become a better writer (already happening)
    5. It’s an opportunity to have another shot at the story, make a few tweaks and resubmit elsewhere
    6. It’s not the end of the world, just a teensy weensy hiccup in the grand scheme of things and while it’s as disappointing as hell, you will survive it and you WILL sub again.

    Now you have more positives than negatives (you’re probably not interested/don’t believe them today but read them again when you’re feeling better).

    For what it’s worth – I think (and so do lots of others) that you’re utterly fabulous.

  4. Never, ever, ever let someone else determine whether you’re good enough or whether you suck. Often, it’s not about you. It’s about markets and trends and profit/loss statements. You can’t control them, you can’t influence them, so stop trying. It’s not personal, it’s business.

    What you can do is write a book that you like and have confidence enough in your taste level to believe that what you think is really good, most everyone else will think is good enough, too. You also have to believe that when the time is right, it will find the right editor/agent/reader/reviewer/et cetera.

    Don’t give rejections any more power than they deserve. “No” doesn’t mean you suck, and just because Harlequin said no doesn’t mean someone else won’t say yes. Buck up, submit elsewhere, and save the bottom of the well for when you’ve exhausted all of your options.

  5. Natalie – thanks!

    Nina – I do have a voice and I thought I knew where I fitted but I’m starting to question even that now. I guess that’s what happens when you stuff up. It makes you question everything. Yes, I have hopes for my subs but I am trying not get my hopes up to be honest. But thanks for the faith.

    Elissa – thank you! My problem is that I thought I was doing much better as a writer these days. But actually it appears not as well as I was doing three years ago! Which is sucky. And to be honest, I don’t know what to tweak on the sub. My only guess is that the whole plot didn’t work for them. Or the characters. Or the conflict. Or the voice. Who knows?

    Elizabeth – yes, I know, it’s not personal. It’s more the timing of it. I could submit elsehwere if everything i write wasn’t category. I guess I need to think of something that isn’t category. Which at the moment is really, really difficult.
    You know, I don’t really think I suck. The truth is that I think I can write and I write damn well. And my sub rocked – I wouldn’t have submitted it if I didn’t think it was good. I’m just annoyed that I didn’t get any feedback cause damn I think I deserved it. Especially my synopsis! It was masterful. 🙂

  6. oh man. That just sucks !

    Get thee back to the London office, where your voice / writing / stories all get a solid vote of appreciation… and where good things are waiting for you, just around the corner.

    Huge hugs !!!

  7. (HUGS) Bad sucky R. The R sucks and not you 🙂

    I say burn it in the backyard and hell with fire regulations lol

    I’m glad you’re not letting it get you down. Of course your synopsis was masterful!

  8. Jo – thanks lovie! I did think this WAS going to the London office but obviously not. I’d really like a peek around that corner just to check cos if it’s not good things, not sure I want to go around it. 😉

    Lacey – Sorry, but it bloody was! It made Dr J weepy! Surely that has to count for something? 🙂 Anyway, deleted the email. Didn’t want to waste any oxygen on it by burning it.

  9. Oh no Jackie 🙁 I’ve been checking your blog for the result, and was so sure that it would be positive after this long wait!

    I’ll cross my fingers for your other subs.


  10. Jackie, hugs from me too! Lots of them. Some of them guilty since I got all the luck in the editor draw this time around. But your chapter rocked (and I’m certain ‘masterful’ doesn’t come close to describing how good your synopsis was.)

    This R is absolutely not a reflection on how well you write. I’m so glad new inspiration has already struck!

  11. Wacky suggestion no 1: Take on a new alias and send it into London as a normal submission and see if you get some feedback
    Wacky suggestion no 2: Strip naked and run down the street shouting “I’m a writer!” You’ll get some media attention and maybe get to read a bit of your sub on the news!
    Wacky suggestion no 3: Make yourself a t-shirt celebrating your High 5 success and wear it all week. Make sure there is glitter, bejangles and flashing lights on it, as well as a secret chocolate pocket and a straw that leads directly to your mouth containing chocolate martini’s on tap!
    Much love Jax xx

  12. (((HUGS!!)))

    I’ve said it before, I’d be happy to look at any of these HMB ‘rejects’! You don’t have to stay down there at the bottom of the well. It’s sunny up here if you’ll only get out by climbing a different ladder … 😉


  13. Big hugs from me too, Jackie. You know I said it before, but it’s the R that sucks, definitely not your writing. You are still the same fabulous Jackie, and one teensy tiny email doesn’t change that.

    Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to go play that StoryWonk podcast you sent me when I got my R. Really do it, and repeat it out loud. As often as it takes to get it through your head that you ARE a great writer. You might not believe it, but it will make you giggle to try (or it did me!), which is a good thing anyway.

    Looooove the new hero idea too. Truck loads of potential conflict there!

  14. Hugs to you, Jackie,
    Sorry for the ‘R’ but you gotta keep going. The road to publication is filled with many rejection letters- (so I’ve been told) It means you have the guts to submit and the faith in your work that you’ve sent them a damn good story. I’m still waiting and really don’t feel there’s much reason to hope anything postive to come out of it. I thought the hold-up was because editors saw promise and wanted to deliver a decent critique. What I get for trying to second guess the industry. Back to the drawing board.

  15. Lots and lots of hugs, Jackie.

    Spoil youself a bit – and then get straight back on that writing horse. All the feedback you’ve got over the past few years would indicate you can write – and write very well indeed, too.

    Suzanne (blogger being silly and won’t let me leave messages as myself).


  16. HUGS Jackie! I know how long you waited for your response and how hard it is to get a form R.

    If it helps, the last rejection I received from Desire submission before I sold was a form R.

    The same manuscript I sold to Desire I had an editor for another line tell me that she had no idea what to do with my story or what line it fit.

    This is a very subjective business. Just because one editor didn’t know what to do with your story doesn’t mean you can write or that it won’t sell.

    You can do this!!! We all believe in you!

  17. Leah – I was kind of hoping, as you do the more time goes on. So it was kind of a kick in the guts.

    Robyn – thanks hon! I’m so pleased that at least someone got some good luck and that person was you though! At the moment the R is feeling a little personal so…I guess I’ll get over it. 🙂

    Kerrin – cheers to you!

    Scarlet – LOl!! I love all of those suggestions (except maybe the naked one). But thinking suggestion number 1 might be a good one…sneaky though. Thanks to you for the kind thoughts, lovie.

    Jane – thank you! Lol re the sub! Well, this particular one is only 3 chapters and very rough ones at that. May go back to it so you never know. 🙂

    Lucy – thanks!

  18. Rach – yeah, she’s funny all right! Lol!

    Jane – thanks m’dear! Yeah, I need to do that, don’t I? At the moment, I feel I’m a crap writer. Argh, have to get through this!

    Tereasa – I know what you mean about second guessing. I’m at the ‘too afraid to hope’ stage since every single time I do that, it’s been a no. I can’t stop doing it though! So annoying. Anyway, I am crossing my fingers hard for you!

    Suzanne – I wondered who this person was! Lol! Yeah, I have had some good feedback but…some days it’s all one step forward, fifty million steps back. Sigh. Thanks for the faith.

    Maya – thank you! The other two subs…well, I’m hoping. But hope can be a bit destroying to be honest.

    Nas – hugs are all that’s needed. 🙂

    Cat – that helps. That REALLY helps actually. I think I need to believe that form Rs happen to the best of writers. Intellectually I know this but sometimes other people’s sob stories are the best way. Thanks for sharing that.

  19. Jackie, really sorry to hear about your R, I feel your frustration, especially after them taking so darn long to get back to you.

    Sending lots of hugs and positive vibes your way.
    x Kristy

  20. Kristy – thanks for that! Yeah, I think if I’d heard with everyone else, I would have been more okay with it. But having to wait just made the build up of hope more. Sigh.

  21. HUGS HUGS HUGS. Other than that, I got nothing for ya. It just sux the big wang. Fingers super crossed for the other two now! At least you have some irons in the fire. MORE HUGS

  22. Christine – thank you! Hugs are lovely (there’s something I’d say here about big wangs but I won’t. Hehe). Yeah, I’ll get over it but I have to complain a bit first. I think I need to think about an ebook story. Just need to pin down an idea…

  23. Jackie, that really is BUM. I got an R too, but at least it was quick – don’t know what they were doing there. Your blog post title is wrong tho, cos you definitely CAN, and you’ve already won a prize this year!
    I echo everyone else here, Jackie with their good advice. And send lots of virtual hugs. xx

  24. Yay, I hope you do! If you have any questions about e-pub, email me. I will tell you every single thing I know, no q’s off limits, k? It’s truly is a lot of fun.

  25. Had to hop over to your totally fab blog and offer even more humongous hugs. I’m gutted for ya, honey, and I echo every one of the sentiments here – keep going – you can do it!

    Tori x

  26. Sally – thanks. Yeah, okay, maybe I can write. The contest win was good. I hope it’s not the high point of my career though! Thanks for the hugs. 🙂

    Christine – I may take you up on that. I just have to get an idea first…or, I should say, an idea I’m excited about and want to write.

    Tori – hey there! Thanks for coming by and your lovely words about the blog. At the moment, it seems to be the thing that’s going right about my writing. Anyway, I guess the other thing that’s going right is that I haven’t given up. Yet. 😉

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