Writer's moments

Back In the Saddle…

I’m back from my vacation with the Sisters, which was very nice. I got to see Son and DIL and even spend time with Lily, my granddog. I tasted a lot of good wine; ate at several great restaurants, including Federicos Tapas and Wine Bar, where I learned about ceviche, sea bass, and other wonderful tidbits. I went to a play at Cal Shakes; and I got to lay around a pool and read for pleasure, which was delicious! But now, I’m back home and back to work.

While I was on vacation, I got a rejection on my first novel–the one that is my heart. (Note to self, don’t check email while on vacation.) Much to my sisters’ chagrin, the rejection, which was pretty much a “this book sucks as it is” type of pass, hit me hard. I’ve been rejected before, but this one cut me to the quick. It was as if someone had told me my baby was ugly. Yes, it was just one woman’s opinion and yes, I have a wonderful agent who believes in me and a terrific crit partner who listened and sympathized as I wept on the phone to her, but this one really hurt!

I tried not to let it ruin the rest of my vacation, but it was there, like a little gray cloud over my head the whole time. Now, it’s been a week and I can read the criticism with a little bit more objectivity. Today, I reread the comments and reminded myself that this was no form rejection. This editor took time to tell me exactly what she believed was wrong with the novel. I may not have agreed with all she said, but it’s actually pretty cool that she took the time to tell me what she thought. I’m taking that to mean that I shouldn’t give up…I’m a writer worth having a discussion with and that’s not a bad thing at all.

So, tonight I worked over the first few chapters of the book, tried creating more tension between my characters, and punching up the conflict some. I just sent the chapters over to my crit partner for review. Writing is more than hard work. It’s also a constant learning and growing experience, sometimes painful, but always valuable. A week ago, I was devastated, but now, I’m back in the saddle…writing, revising, editing, creating…because (here it comes…) I am a great writer!


  • Betty Fokker

    Nan, I am sure the reviewer was wrong. I am sure she meant well, and all, but still she was wrong. Your book is great. I can tell. I am a Pope and it’s my call … your book rocks.

  • Sandy James

    Rs hurt. No way around it. But each one I’ve ever received — and I’ve had well over 50 from agents/editors!!! — made me stronger. They made my stories more publishable, and they helped me improve. **hugs** then do exactly what you did. Hit the story again. 🙂

  • Susan Courtney

    Thanks for sharing the hills and valleys of being a writer. I could feel both the chagrin of the critic’s rejection and your new resolve as you put the experience into perspective.
    You ARE a good writer.

    • admin

      Merci, Suz! The “I am a great writer” mantra comes courtesy of my writer friend, Lani Diane Rich, who teaches writing as well as writes great novels. She’s an inspiration, as is the support of my good friends. Thanks for staying on-board with my blog! Love your input!

  • Karen Gill

    Love your attitude change, Nancy. I’m sure the rejection was difficult, but you’re right: if the reviewer took the time to give you specifics, she believed the problems she saw were worth fixing. Way to go for taking her advice as constructive criticism and making the book even better. And you *are* a great writer. I’m just learning that about you from your blog posts.

    • admin

      Thanks, Karen–so glad to have you visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts! Come back often, okay?