Monday, 28 September 2009
Better to travel than to arrive?
Several Macmillan New Writers - myself included - have had disappointing news this year in that our second or third novels have been rejected for publication. Most of us will have spent at least a year on each of these novels; a year of writing, of thinking, of planning, of ups and downs, and of hope. But thinking back over my own year, I have to conlude that it's the journey that really counts, not the arriving. Yes, it's wonderful to be accepted and published; great to hold in my hand the first copy of a new novel; fun to attend a book launch and book signings, and to see my book in a shop window. The money's nice, too. But nothing quite compares with the exhilaration I feel when a piece of writing is going well; when the story take over, and flows as though coming from a source of its own; the moment when another (brilliant, of course) idea strikes, and I can't wait to get it down on paper. So, yes. It's deeply disappointing to be rejected and to have to put the novel and all its well-loved characters away in their virtual drawer, and turn to something else. But regrets? None. A waste of time? Absolutely not. Speaking for myself, it was worth every minute. And that, presumably, is why we keep on writing.