Turning Points.

November is only a few weeks away, and following that comes December. Then, as fast as that, 2018. We’re not even past Halloween (a grossly overlooked calendar event over here in the UK) and already the push is on for Christmas.
Time is cruel and never ever slows, much like the corporate agenda. (I mean, four months of promotion for Christmas? Are you serial?)

Temporary has been a part of my life in some form or another for a while now. Years, no less. I knew that the querying process would be slow – glacial even, though…global warming is a thing…so I don’t know how much that comparison really hits now – but I never expected to be sitting here years later, still processing rejections.
I had hoped that, given the months of graft and effort to finesse, submit, and query (you know, the hard work and emotional commitment of it all), it would have connected with somebody, anybody, by now. A connection that would lead to, at the very least, a request for a full manuscript that could then be rejected. As far as hurdles go, I’m still stumbling out the gate. Still, at least I’m OUT the gate. A story unwritten won’t get you very far, after all.

Doctor Who, stumbling

Here we see a visual representation of Temporary, stumbling hopelessly, but charmingly, out the gate.

But as the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me…that I wasn’t ready to exorcise this story and move on, clear, to the next thing.

Rejection is a natural part of this process, one that I’ve been ready and willing to embrace. If you were to trawl this blog, you’d find a plethora of examples of my inherent, earnest readiness. Not because I had no faith in the story, but because I’m choosing to heed the advice and life experience of those that came before me.

I know it’s a long process. I know rejection is an intrinsic part of it. But, y’know, I’m kind of done with that part now, thanks. I’d love to move onto the next part. That next hurdle. The one where I send in a full manuscript that impresses enough for an offer of representation to eventually come flying my way, catching me off guard like a ball flying through the air, a call of “Heads!” coming precious seconds too late.

Fun Fact: I was very nervous Googling “Ball to Face.”

Ready to get real? Think of this like a Spoiler Warning; this is a Real Life Warning, so if you don’t want to get too deep with the real, turn back now, friend.

Ready?

No turning back now…

Okay.

Things have been pretty tough these past few weeks. There have been a lot of emotionally draining work issues that have been affecting my mental health, so I made the executive decision to pump my personal brakes.

I’ve read, I’ve played some video games, watched some loads of pro wrestling, and attended as many BJJ sessions that I could. Anything and everything to remove my sense of self from myself, if only for a while.

During this time, I received a response from a literary agency that I desperately wanted to connect with my story.

I won’t be naming names, but theirs is an agency that would have been perfect to partner with. The books they help find publication and the authors that they represent are so in tune with what Temporary is and represents that to see their agency pop into my Inbox, only to have another rejection to use as wallpaper definitely got to me. They were “The One.”

And it was here that I had to remind myself of what has become a deeply ingrained, personal mantra. For life, for work, for everything:

Hold on. Hold strong. Persevere.

Keep ploughing (swimming?) through my own extended Act II low point. Why? Because Act III comes next. Right? Sure, there’ll be more pitfalls, perhaps a third Act twist along the way to keep it exciting, but ultimately it will see me confront my hardest trials, eventually coming through victorious, with lessons learned and Temporary published, finally available to buy in every good bookstore near you.

Maybe even a few disreputable ones, too. Those stores of ill repute where all the cool kids like you go to buy their books.

I look forward to bumping into you there.

– Steve R / @stevetendo

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