I grew up near Detroit, during the Pistons beautiful years. My family has always been into sports and they were always on television. Being somewhat close, we even went to a few Tigers and Pistons games. All that to say, sports phrases were common venacular in my house growing up. Whenever anything got knocked down, one of us would yell "Rejected by Dumars!" (Joe Dumars is a 6'3 basketball player from the late 80's/early 90's who was known for great defense and the announcers would yell that at any given moment during a Pistons game.)
(Sporting my Pistons T at summer camp. All the cool kids were doing it.)
I have been putting myself out there a lot lately. I sent my book to a real.live.agent. and wrote an article that I submitted to several very large publications. And so far? Nada. The agent wasn't interested in my manuscript and nothing but crickets on the article. Rejected by Dumars. Dumars being a 6'3 professional literary world this time.
My initial fear is the American Idol syndrome. The people who audition with bold statements of being "The best singer in their entire town!" and then you hear them sing aaaaaaaand....yikes. That internal dialogue of whether or not you're good at something? The rejection confirms your fears, that you're making this up as you go, that you have no formal training doing what you're doing and therefore no business pretending you're a contender.
But then you get an email from someone who read your blog and it helped answer some questions for them. Or helped them realize they wanted to adopt. Or just made them laugh.
From the beginning I've said that this is not our story, we didn't make this happen, that God set all this up and we walked through it. Once I finished the book, I felt very unattached to a fantastic outcome or not. I was very open to whatever happens, happens. But then I got my first rejection and felt like closing the writing chapter of my life's book altogether.
I know there's a bazillion agents and publishers and publications. I know that our story is supposed to get out there, I know that I have only just started this process and need to have as much thick skin as I have patience.
I met with a long-time mentor of mine last night. She's also a big fan but an honest one. She reminded me that I began writing the book 6 years ago. I was a different person back then. I hadn't really written before. I hadn't found my style or my voice yet. The second half was basically written by a different person.
So, in answer to the questions of "So, what's happening with your book now?" My answer is that I'm sharpening my editing pen and/or butchering knives and having a hard look at the original manuscript. I'm taking it from a documentation of an international adoption to a memoir worth reading. And in the meantime I'm going to keep writing articles and putting myself out there.
Look out, Dumars, I'm comin' atcha.