Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Cosmic sign?

In June, as the few readers of this blog probably know (if there are any readers, given how infrequently I post!), I went to a fabulous writer's conference. One of the perks of the conference was the chance to submit parts of our novels to the editors directly, without having to go through the typical agent route. One of the editors had a particularly early deadline--the middle to end of July. I dutifully followed her instructions and sent off my packet with ten days to spare. Yesterday, you can imagine my chagrin when I found the envelope crammed into my mailbox, with a "Return to Sender: Address Unknown" sticker on it. (The deadline was July 29th). One closer inspection, it looked like someone had written over one of the numbers on the address--was that why the address wasn't found? Or was the rewritten address someone's valiant attempt to deliver it? I opened the envelope and double-checked the address the editor had given us: it was exactly what I'd written.

Anyway, I was a little bummed about this for a while--not so much because this meant this particular editor would never see this project (there's still a chance she might--my sister, who has much better connections than I do, is trying to find out if this happened to anyone else), but because at the moment it felt like it might be a cosmic sign: Maybe you shouldn't do this whole writing thing. Maybe it's just a waste of energy and effort.

I think I must have been tired. I tend to get discouraged easily when I'm tired.

In any case, time spent doing something you love and getting better at it is never entirely wasted. Right? Right? . . . ?


  1. Of course! Not wasted at all! If you want a cosmic sign from this experience, maybe it's, "Things don't always work out the first time." Even if you never published anything, the act of writing stretches your brain, deepens your soul. And I'm certain that at some point you'll publish something, probably many things, but, in my opinion, you shouldn't let that be as important right now as the fact that YOU'RE DOING IT! Many of us let our talents lie dormant, never do much about them. You're grabbing yours and doing something about it, and that's noteworthy. Don't give that up!

  2. Thanks Laura. You're absolutely right, of course! :)

  3. You really aught to try submitting again with an explanation of what happened. This is only a couple of days late--I'm sure editors are used to far flakier behaviour from writers.

    That's very strange about the address, but something similar happened to my grandma recently when she attempted to mail me a package. In the end she took the package to the counter and had them confirm the address was correct (which it was). The package made it to me successfully after that.

  4. At least you have the satisfaction of knowing you did everything you could to make the deadline. You didn't just bounce the ball, you served it. That is something.

    I had a conversation with someone recently about this very idea of "everything happening for a reason" business. I said, "Of course everything happens for a reason, but it's not always a grand cosmic reason." For example, just because the day you moved into your new apartment your washing machine goes out and you get a flat tire, might just mean that the washing machine is old and you drove over a nail coming into the driveway.

    I enjoy writing also, and I want you to know that I am proud of you. You did what many people don't and won't do, and that is to follow through on your dream and take the steps necessary to make those dreams happen. :)