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? . . . ?