When the going gets tough, the tough go to Dairy Queen.
That is exactly what happened yesterday when I learned that a major NY publisher, after three months of reviewing Opening the Kimono, decided to reject my book for publication. While they loved my book, they could not support it at this time. Specifically, the publisher said:
"We have done our best to analyze whether we can publish your book successfully. After doing that analysis, we have come to the conclusion that based on the market as it is, it would be difficult to successfully publish it at this time. I know that this could be disappointing news and I want you to know that this is not a reflection of your work, but more of what's happening in the market and what has been selling successfully in this challenging market. "
That was little comfort. I felt like I had been repeatedly punched in the stomach by the World Boxing Association heavyweight champ. I had put so much of myself into the notion that this top publisher would accept my book and take it to the masses. Visions of Oprah danced in my head. How could they reject it? Everyone who reads it loves it! I know that celebrity memoirs, works from known bestsellers and diet books are practically the only things being published right now, but c'mon! Isn't there just a little bit of room for something new?
My husband/business partner was with me when I read the email. My tear-covered face clearly showed my disappointment more than any words could convey. He immediately swept me up into one of his classic bear hugs. He decided that the first-level of response needed to be some quality Michael Medicine. He took me into the bedroom and made delicious love to me, telling me how proud of me he was and that I was powerful, beautiful, and an amazingly talented woman. He nurtured me through the tears and brought me through the worst of the storm.
That was Step One.
The next step in my grieving process was to bury myself in the comfortable confines of our bed. I wanted to pull the covers over my head until the sting of the rejection ebbed to a manageable level. However, hubby broke into my existential malaise and declared that he wasn't going to allow me to wallow in bed all day long. It was time to re-enter the world. At my urging, we hopped into the car and proceeded to administer the second dose of medication: a Dairy Queen hot dog, fries, and Reese's Blizzard. I gotta admit, the tasty treats did start to make me feel a wee bit better. There is something therapeutic about chocolate and peanut butter...
That was Step Two.
Once we got home, I didn't want to do anything productive, and I certainly didn't want to get on that damn computer to do any more work. Every time I looked at MacDaddy, he taunted me with the firebomb contained within my Inbox. Instead, I pleaded with my beloved to join me in the basement for some sustained mind-numbing TV. We popped in the Blu-Ray disc of season one of "True Blood" and watched vampire shenanigans for several hours. Somehow watching hot vamps all day long made the pain of my disappointment further recede into the mist of my saddened heart.
That was Step Three.
Throughout the day, I received numerous calls and emails from family, friends, and fans who reminded me that I am, in fact, worthy of success, despite what the fancy-pants publisher may think. With each supportive comment, my confidence grew and ate away at my pathetic, "I suck" attitude. One comment in particular stood out in my mind. A woman who has read my book several times and listens to the audiobook in her car sent me a note: "I just want you to know, your words continue to transform my life on a daily basis." Her thoughtful comment prodded me to remember other things. I recalled that one woman who is currently going through rehab was allowed to bring only a very few items with her, and she chose her well-worn copy of Opening the Kimono to be one of them. I recalled one woman chasing me down at the International New Age Trade Show saying that she had to meet the woman who wrote the best book she ever read. I recalled the awards my book has won. In short, I remembered that I am still, regardless of the painful rejection I just received, The Shizit.
That was Step Four.
Collectively, all of these steps brought me back from the brink. After a reasonably good night's sleep (how much sleep can one get after snarfing down DQ and seven episodes of "True Blood"?), I woke up with a new attitude. I firmly believe that everything happens exactly as it should, and there are gifts contained in every seemingly horrible situation. I am grateful that I don't have to wait on pins and needles anymore, waiting to hear from the people for whom I (incorrectly) placed all of my hopes and dreams. I am grateful that I have so many wonderful people in my life who support and love me. I am grateful that I have written a book that makes people feel better about themselves. I am grateful for another day.
After our post-coital cuddle yesterday, Michael reminded me of the most important thing of all: "Let's allow the Powers That Be who create worlds to take your book where it needs to go. We don't have to do all of the work. It's up to us to just live joyfully and act upon the signs that Spirit gives us. It is in charge, not us."
Damn straight. I will NOT hold on to my self-judgment and disappointment anymore. I will embrace this latest development as a gift, knowing that Spirit is driving me towards something phenomenal. Starting today, I am going to get back on the horse, share my words with as many people as possible, and sell the shit out of my little book of inspirational stories. The right publisher for the second edition WILL present themselves at the perfect moment, because Spirit is in the driver's seat.
And if/when I waver, Dairy Queen is just down the street.
Please visit www.TheresaRose.net to take a peek inside Opening the Kimono!