rejection letters and back ups

It has struck me during conversations with non-writers (well they can write, perhaps not necessarily joined up and sometimes with spelling even more imaginative than mine, but they only write out of necessity, shopping lists, thank you letters, twitter etc.   People who do not sit and stare at a page or screen and will it to turn into a novel while they watch) that it is possible that I am not taking my rejections seriously enough.

Thus far I have had two rejection letters.  Actually they were emails but the message was the same, and I quote from the second.  “We’ll pass on this one.”  I felt no crashing sense of defeat, not even a momentary whiff of failure passed under my nose.  I filed them (it’s the inner organiser in me, even my emails are filed) and moved on.

It would seem that this is quite the wrong response.  Apparently I am to be upset that I have been passed over, irritated by the lack of feedback and most certainly not to be downhearted.  I am none of these.  I am not surprised I have been passed over, it could be because I am crap it could be because I am not what they are looking for/they have enough of my genre/they are having a shit day.  Lack of feedback is a bit hard to explain to non-writers who really don’t seem to be able to get their head around this.  I never thought I would be the defender of agents but there you go, I never thought I would be living in rural County Durham with three hormonal teenagers, an eclectic menagerie including a psychotic  parrot and a very long suffering husband.  As for downhearted, this is the oddest one, anyone would think I was dancing on my grandmother’s grave from the response I get to my lack of dismal despair.  Perhaps I might be more concerned if I am still in the same position in ten years time.  At that point I may have to accept that it is not that I am wrong for the current market but just wrong and that may well induce a certain amount of gloom.  But until then I will keep smiling if that’s okay.

Now I have a question – where do you back up?  I once lost the first 20,000 words of book one.  In fact it was a life saver, although it didn’t seem so at the time.  The re-write was infinitely better than the first attempt, it was practically a different book and without the whole thing disappearing down the drain it is highly unlikely I would have had the patience to start again.  However, one lesson is quite enough and I have no desire to stare down the abyss of an empty folder and will my work to come back ever again.

After that first disaster I was an obsessive saver, and I saved in multiple places.  Consequently I had multiple copies and always failing to copy the right copy to the right folder and I got myself into more of a fankle than I had before.  Then I discovered DropBox and now have everything on DropBox and an external hard drive.  But is that enough?  What do you do?  Where do you keep your work to protect if from “file not found”?

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4 responses to “rejection letters and back ups

  1. I’m with you! If I get no feedback with a rejection it barely registers. It’s very easy to simply accept it wasn’t for them, feel mildly embarrassed for daring to think it might be, and get on with the washing up. I had one particular rejection recently though, which appeared to be very keen on the novel and lamented that five years ago they’d have had the funding and manpower to take it on, but not so today. Ouch! That really hurt. It was the coming so close and still not getting taken on that I struggled with – but not for long. I had a bit of a howl and then decided that a year ago I’d have killed for a rejection like that and maybe there was a publisher out there who did have a bit of funding, and enough staff who also liked my book… I think you have to be a dreamer, thick-skinned and single minded to be able to cope with rejection. Then it’s a doddle!
    Oh, the backing up. Manic backer-up here – memory sticks/ hard drive on both pc and lap top, emailed to myself etc. etc. I’ve never heard of Drop Box, it sounds like it could let me do away with at least one of my excessive options. I shall check it out.
    Great post!

    • The manic backing up was my problem, I would open my work and then realise I was working on a copy that was three days old, then I would have to find the current copy cut and paste and then panic that I had not cut and pasted everything and then was too scared to delete what I was SURE was the old copy and replace with the new ….. you get the picture!

  2. DropBox is brilliant – the free storage option is adequate, I find, and it’s there, accessible, from any computer or mobile device.

    I also have an external hard drive, but that’s more for storing photos and other clunky stuff. Mainly DropBox is where I rest my manuscripts and the nifty way it autosyncs and integrates with Windows’ file menu is great as there’s no requirement on the part of Forgetful Me to do anything!

    Rejections? I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do, and saw it through without exemption…

    Sorry. Burst into song there. Must be this sunshine.

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