I wasn’t always thankful for the decades of rejection letters. The only times I was?
A. When those personalized nuggets let me see I was on the right track.
B. When, after months and months of waiting, I knew for certain, I could let go of the hope to have that editor publish that book.
C. When my SASE returned, signifying that someone actually handed my manuscript, and that my return postage, my 25 or 29 or 32 or 33 or 34 cents (yes, I spanned many postage-rate hikes) didn’t go to directly to a dumpster.
I’m not going to lie. I wish I’d achieved success much earlier. Right now, I could have a larger body of work and more kids waiting for my next book which always translates into more school visits, more money, and stronger support all around. The truth is, if I’d achieved success at an earlier point in my life, I’m fairly certain I would have had too many balls in the air. I would not have been able to sustain that juggling act. I would have turned down too many school visits and squandered other marketing opportunities. And I might not have been able to put my little bit of success into the proper perspective.
Maybe I’m not giving my younger self credit. But instead of moaning over the length of time it took, and instead of berating myself for my own role in, perhaps, not working long and hard enough to get it right earlier, I did get it right eventually. And every day I’m well aware that I may have landed the best job in the world.
Finally, in this season of thanksgiving, sending out waves of gratitude this Veterans Day for those who stood up and continue to stand up for the rest of us in any and all capacities.