Thank you Marcus Aurelius and your Meditations for the second half of my headline. I began reading Meditations shortly after my publisher rejected a novel I was working on. A novel I was sure was going to be bought. To say it through me for a loop, is the understatement of the year. It devastated me. Because I was not given much of a reason for the rejection, like every human being, I assumed the worst. My writing was garbage and not worthy of the ink needed to print it on the pages. Obviously.
After lots of crying, binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy, and drinking enough wine that I had purple teeth, I decided to get over myself and adjust my sails. As usual, when I right my attitude, The Universe delivers. This time with the Stoics and their philosophies on life. I found great comfort in the words of Marcus Aurelius, in particular. He said, ‘No matter how perfectly you might plan, no matter how well you prepare, no matter how sure you deserve success, sometimes, life is just gonna crap all over you and squash you like a bug. The important part? Is how you react to that. Use that crap sandwich life gave you and work with it.’ Okay, maybe I’m paraphrasing and poor ol’ Marcus is rolling in his grave, but you get the point.
So I changed my attitude.
My rejection became the way – and my way forward. I decided I still wanted to tell my story, so I chose self-publishing. I was going to do it right, so I hired an editor who had a 6 month waiting list, but I was so grateful when she agreed to take me on as a client. When I got my edits back, after much time away from my manuscript, it was cringingly (it is too a word, shush) clear why my publisher had rejected my book. It was so far from being print-ready that I was mortified I had submitted it to my publisher previously. My publisher’s editor was very, very kind in her lack of detail as to why it was rejected. Ahem.
You would think that the editorial assessment might have hurt, but it did the opposite. It made me realize I had a story worth telling and I now had the much-needed professional help to get it to where I wanted it to be. My painful rejection had helped me find my way.
I’ll be in my third phase of editing soon and meanwhile, I’m up to by eyeballs in researching how to successfully self-publish a book. If I am going to do this, I want to do it as well as I can.
However, will make mistakes and make some ignorant choices that will cause setbacks, because there’s simply so much to learn and know. But the beautiful thing is, as I stumble and trip down the road I’m on, as long as I remember to adjust my attitude when I have set-backs? I can be assured that my journey is leading me and teaching me exactly what I need to know. Because as Marcus Aurelius actually said,” The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes this way.”
I’m doing the thing and finding my way – all with a little help from some really wise people who lived a really long time ago. Thanks for having my back, Marcus dude.
My newest novel, Cordelia and the Whale will be publishing Fall 2018. Sign up for an email alert to be able to pre-order the book in August when I launch my new website!
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