Last week I signed the contract for my second children’s book with Ancient Faith Publishing. I bought a fountain pen to mark the occasion.
When I signed my first contract 3.5 years ago, they warned me that the next slot in the production cycle was a few years away. I had an inkling of how slow publishing could be. I started my writing career working with textbook publishers. I saw first hand how many people and how many hours go into each book. In the end, it took 2.5 years for that contract to become Goodnight Jesus.
Writing can be an intense business. Even big-name authors still get rejections.
On rejection: You only lose if you stop playing. You never get published if the mss. is in the drawer. Rewrite, make it better, send it out!
— jane Yolen (@JaneYolen) July 14, 2017
You have to hold onto the successes like a buoy when your inbox is nothing but a lightning storm of rejection. I got a rejection the very day I signed this new contract. Zap.
Eventually, contracts become books, and you have a solid reminder of the victory. But two and a half years is a long time to hold onto the excitement of a signature.
A pen is a physical reminder. A small joy that I can use every day to remind me that one day I’ll get to sign a book with that pen.
Here’s to all the pens to come.