Last week, Chadwick wrote me a letter. I was laying in bed, staring at the ceiling fan, and suddenly, there it was. I thought I’d share it with you all:
I just wanted to congratulate you on sending that manuscript into that small publisher who promised to get back to you next week. Of course, we both know your manuscript is complete crap, and will never get published, but props for giving it a try! Do you think that editor will let you down gently, or just be honest about how awful it really is?
Speaking of failures, remember that story Masks? You know, the one you’ve sent to over a dozen places trying to get published, only to experience rejection after rejection? Hehehehe–excuse me. Just, ahem, getting over a cough. Well, if you had consulted me earlier, you would have known that it is a stupid story and I could have saved you all that heartache by telling you never to let anyone see it. But maybe this is better because now you learned the lesson yourself, and maybe you will spare yourself future difficulties by just stopping all publishing attempts. Oh – and while we are talking about short stories, what about Chosen? and Fairies? Neither of those have won any of the contests you entered, so why do you continue to pursue them? You should just file them away under a folder labeled Never Show Anyone. You know I only tell you this because I care. Stop putting yourself out there, and you’ll stop getting hurt.
Wait, did I just hear you thinking about trying to write some new stories? Well, I suppose it would be all right, as long as you don’t expect too much of them. You know, it’s good practice for rejection, now that you mention it. You’ll never get them published, but you can post them on your website after uselessly trying for weeks and wasting all your time.
Did I just a hear a ding? Oh, look! Another agent rejection. But at least this one was kind enough to send you a personal rejection instead of a form rejection. I did tell you that she wouldn’t be interested, but you never listen to me. I don’t know why I bother. Oh, right–because I want to save you from all the things you seemed determined to subject yourself to! Why are you so stubborn? Yes, I know they say the only writers who don’t make it are the ones who give up, but do you really believe that?
Well, okay, fine then. You just keep barreling on toward destruction, but don’t worry. I won’t abandon you. I’ll be here to say I-told-you-so when it doesn’t work, and comfort you when you fail.
Always here for you,