I could say a lot of things in this post, about why and what and everything we plan to do next. But mostly, I want to talk about failure.
After the news, a final no from an editor we worked with on revisions for about two months, I called home to tell my parents. I felt ... weighed down ... even though it was sunny and springy outside, like my heart had fallen past my toes into the ground. And not just because I was sad. I was sad, but I mostly just felt like a failure.
But my parents are the most supportive people I know -- they sit with me on the phone when I cry, and share the heaviness of failure, and tell me that they believe I can do this -- which is more than I can say for myself sometimes. My dad wrote me an email, and this line lifted my heart back out of the ground:
"No one can argue that it wouldn't have been nice to have all your work recognized by an offer to publish. But since it wasn't, the recognition will come from the fact that you persevered."Then I told a couple friends at dinner. It was hard to get the words out, because I'm such a perfectionist and I don't like saying that something didn't go the way I planned. But my friends shared the heaviness, too, with a moment or two of quiet and a general agreement that that sucks. And then, the best part: they went around the table and shared the things they've failed at this week, too, so we could be uplifted by the knowledge that we all fail. It's a people thing.
So even though I'm disappointed, I'm also encouraged by the people who know I've failed and say, well, we think you're awesome anyway. Like another one of my friends, who basically said you are twenty years old. you wrote a novel. that's probably enough for now.
And then I was thinking about failure, and the connotations of that word, and I realized that actual failure would be giving up. I'm not giving up. I'm going to write another book and try again. And there's so much hope in that.