My Week as an Author: the Many Ups and Downs

18 Jun

If you follow my Facebook page, then you’ve seen the events that I am about to talk about, and you saw them happen to me in real-time. (What can I say? Facebook is my go-to place to speak to you all live.) But if you don’t follow my Facebook page:

1. You missed out on all of the crazy events that happened this week.

2. You should be following my Facebook page. (I post entertaining stories, things that make you laugh, and the occasional interview. I even give away prizes, like guest blog post opportunities. I promise.)

So today I am sharing all of the crazy events that happened to me this week and how they affected me. Some were fantastic and others took my little ego down a notch. Why am I sharing this? Because readers are often sending me questions about what it is like to be an author. In fact, ever since I posted The Pros and Cons of Being An Author, one of the main questions I get asked is what my life is like and how I’ve dealt with ups and downs. And this week is a perfect example of how hectic, crazy, lovely, and insanely exciting it can be to be an author. (Did I mention soul-crushing and absolutely uplifting as well?)

Hopefully, these ups and downs that I went through will give insight to those who are curious about my author life and authors in general, but remember: no matter what, you must stay positive and believe in yourself. You’re following your dream after all.

The events are listed in the order that they happened:

I received a rejection for my poetry collection:

That’s right. I get rejected, too. Just because you’ve been published before, even in the same genre, does not mean you’ll be accepted everywhere you go. In fact, I’ve been rejected dozens of times, especially before I got November Snow published in 2007. A few months ago one of my favorite literary magazines – The Normal School – opened up their submissions for their fifth annual poetry competition. My collection didn’t make it. If I had to be completely honest, this is the second time I’ve been rejected by them. (The first time was a nonfiction piece.) But I am definitely going to keep trying! Even though every rejection hurts a little, you have to find the strength to fight back. One of my goals is to beat my fear of publishing nonfiction, so I’m working on getting at least one essay published within the next two years. Having a goal helps me accept rejection as the next step toward acceptance. That might seem backwards, but – to me – having a goal reminds me that I haven’t given up and how I won’t give up. It keeps me focused, and it prevents me from dwelling. When one door closes, it helps you move onto trying to open the next door in the hallway of life. In fact, on this exact same day, a door opened to me:

I received an acceptance letter for my short story:

On the same day I received a rejection, I received an acceptance. A few hours passed between the two, but I was glad I remained positive because I was able to be fully excited about this moment instead of allowing the rejection to taint my positive moment. The short story is slated for release in August of this year, but that’s all I can say for now.

I hit 20,000 words in Death Before Daylight

I mention this for many reasons, but here’s the main reason. It wasn’t a letter I received. It was a result of my hard work. If I allow myself to get distracted by the rejection, I might not have met this goal. It might have set me back a few days. Is that really worth it? I don’t think so. Staying focused on achieving the next step of my future publication is vital to enjoying my writing career. I’m not saying that a writer can’t take a day or two off to feel sad, but writers have to get back up again. For me, I don’t enjoy taking days off. It makes me feel like I’m letting disappointment control me, and I don’t want disappointment to control me. I want my dream to guide me. So I dove right back into Death Before Daylight the second I had some time off of work, and I met a goal I’ve been dying to meet. Plus, I thought fans of The Timely Death Trilogy would enjoy some news. If you’re on my Facebook, you also saw this little teaser:

booknews

I received my final edits for Take Me Tomorrow:

If you haven’t realized this, we are SUPER behind in meeting the publication deadline, so I’ve been biting my nails off. I practically don’t have any right now, but receiving the edits releaved all of that stress – which means that I had a moment feeling a little ridiculous for being so nervous about the edits in the first place. They were going to come no matter what. Worse case scenario, the publication date gets pushed back a little bit, and that’s not a tragedy at all. It’s still coming out after all. I wanted to share this because it shows how a negative focus can disrupt the overall positive experience of getting a novel published. Don’t be like me. Enjoy these moments fully because – when it’s all over and done with – you’re going to have your novel in your hands, and you’re going to want to look back and forward with a smile on your face. You’re working hard! Enjoy that work.

Amtrak Residency program sent me a rejection notice

I’m sure you’re probably starting to realize how often I apply to different events as a writer. Sure, I’m focused on my novels, but I’m also focused on gaining more from different experiences. I applied for this a few months ago. Basically, Amtrak allowed writers to apply to travel on their trains for free as they blogged about their travels. I love traveling. I love writing. It was perfect for me. But – alas – I am not perfect for Amtrak, and that’s okay. Applying isn’t about being a perfect writer for everyone. Being a writer isn’t about being perfect at all. It’s about loving all the adventures that open up to you. I can always apply next year, apply to other programs, and travel on my own. A rejection doesn’t stop me. Only I stop myself. It’s safe to say that I’m not stopping anytime soon. Or ever. (Probably never. Scratch that. I’m never going to give up. Ever.)

A radio show contacted me for an interview in July

Literally – two hours passed from receiving my Amtrak rejection to receiving the most delightful call of my week. A popular author radio show contacted me, and they want to interview me. Can you say, “EEEEEEEE!”? I know. I actually had to hold back from screaming out in delight over the phone. We’re already working out the details, and they’re recording the show in July, but that’s all I can say for now. (More news to come soon!) But this is another instance of how important it is to remain positive. After all, you can’t be crying to your cat about your rejection when a radio host calls you with an offer. That would be awkward.

from Pinterest

from Pinterest

In the end:

As you can see – negative things can happen, but positive ones can follow them within minutes, and it’s important to stay positive so you can receive that positive energy. (Did that sound hippy enough for you? If not, picture me throwing up a peace sign. I also have a flower in my hair. It is pink.)

It may have been a strangely bizarre and eventful week. I practically got whiplash. But it was an important week, and it was a great week, and I am going to continue to have great weeks as long as I focus on the positive directions that open up to me.

To all authors and aspiring authors, enjoy this ride. It’s sure to be a wild one full of adventures you might never see coming.

~SAT

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21 Responses to “My Week as an Author: the Many Ups and Downs”

  1. hutt1234 June 18, 2014 at 12:38 am #

    Love your updates !!!! I’m keeping an @^@ on you!! :-)

  2. Rebecca Bradley June 18, 2014 at 12:57 am #

    What a busy week! Congratulations on all the highs and the great attitude in dealing with the natural life of an author. Sharing it all helps so many more. Thank you :)

    • Shannon A Thompson June 18, 2014 at 12:59 am #

      It was a busy week. I’m so glad to hear how sharing can help many more. I like to share because the biggest thing that helped me when I was starting out was hearing and reading about other authors’ lives before I went through it myself. Thank you for the congrats, reading, and commenting.
      ~SAT

  3. yahalomi65 June 18, 2014 at 1:28 am #

    I received a rejection for my poetry collection/ Amtrak Residency program sent me a rejection notice = maybe next time
    I receive an acceptance letter for my short story: – congrats!
    I hit 20,000 words in Death Before Daylight – wow amazing
    I receive my edits for Take Me Tomorrow: – all will be fine we trust you
    A radio show contacted me for an interview in July – enjoy it

  4. alexicon1 June 18, 2014 at 4:55 am #

    I can’t wait for my first novel rejection letter, what better a motivator is there than knowing that no matter how many rejections you get, someone will go for it, some day. Got to finish writing a novel first though…

  5. amuteforamuse June 18, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    Really interested inyour updates about real life as an author. I feel it helps ‘lift the veil’ on the realisations of the job that few of us aspiring authors ever get to see.

    It has certainly changed my image of lying on a chaise lounge dictating your latest novel to a PA with a cocktail in one hand and a tray of caviar in the other :)

    • Shannon A Thompson June 18, 2014 at 5:27 am #

      Haha if only that image wasn’t a mirage. I’m glad you enjoyed the insights. Thank you for reading and commenting.
      ~SAT

  6. Charles Yallowitz June 18, 2014 at 6:05 am #

    And it’s only Wednesday. Wow. At least it seems every rejection was swiftly countered by a success, which is great. That radio show interview is amazing, so a big congrats on that.

    • Shannon A Thompson June 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      Right?? That’s what I just realized this morning. Thank you for the congrats!
      ~SAT

  7. Harliqueen June 18, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    It really is a ride, but I’m so glad to hear there were so many positives to balance out the negatives! :)

  8. eclecticalli June 18, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    I looked at my Amtrak residency rejection and thought “ooh! But I still get a discount for travel… Where do I want to go?” :)
    Ups and downs indeed. I just keep reminding myself that it is always going to be a bumpy ride… And it is so worth it.

    • Shannon A Thompson June 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Yes! There is another positive side. A discount. It is worth it. :]
      ~SAT

  9. hmmmmm June 18, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Ok, so you just made my life feel peaceful and calm (if anonymous). :)

  10. Jilanne Hoffmann June 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Shannon, you are one positive person! I love it! Congrats on all the good news and no worries about the rest. Cheers!

    • Shannon A Thompson June 18, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      I try to be! I still have my moments. Thank you for the congrats!
      ~SAT

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  1. June’s Ketchup | Shannon A Thompson - June 30, 2014

    […] My Week as an Author: The Many Ups and Downs: […]

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