Hi everyone, and welcome (back) to my blog! I have a lot going on right now, so it’s time to spill. Get ready for all of this, the good and the bad.
I always preferred bad news first, so here goes.
In April or May, I hinted about crossing i’s and dotting t’s. I had submitted a poetry chapbook manuscript to a press in April and on that same day, I had it accepted for publication. I jumped at the chance, and I had never been prouder of myself or my work until that point. In May, that press gave me the month of September as a tentative publication date with the promise of working with another editor on the team to spruce of my manuscript, saying they would send a contract soon. Well, that never happened.
I hadn’t heard from the press since then, so I queried mid-August, like any other author would do. I was then told that the press would fall into a delayed publication schedule. I was fine with that, and I was still very eager about this book. In September however, my heart broke and some of my dreams shattered. The press was shutting its doors.
For months, I worried over this chapbook. I worried over potential covers. I worried about tone. I worried about offending upsetting white people. I then worried that I didn’t care about offending white people because I knew I hadn’t written anything wrong. I re-wrote history from a black perspective without rose-colored glasses.
This book was my baby. My first baby found a home on a whim, and I when I say a whim, I mean I compiled the poems, sent it out, and it got accepted on the very first day, within hours. I know, that was pure luck. I don’t think I will get that again. Don’t get me wrong; the poems are strong and decent and a few of them have gotten picked up for individual publications, but the news that I wasn’t going to have a book out this year was a definite blow and shock to my system.
My baby would not be hitting the shelves (or the internet) this year. It took me a week and a slight revision of the manuscript before sending it out again. I’m not sure if I want to keep submitting it. I’m not sure if this book is for me anymore. I’m not sure if it’s good enough. I spent hours on each poem when I originally wrote them. I got angry writing them. I still get angry reading them.
And now I’m angry that I’m back to square one: researching and writing and revising.
I keep telling myself that if it really wasn’t good enough, it wouldn’t have gotten picked up by anyone. Then I felt like a fraud. Then I realized that this happens all the time to people. I’m no special snowflake, though I’d like to believe that my circumstances were pretty special.
Also, for everything I’ve submitted to since, I’m getting rejection letter after rejection letter including a few fellowships I really wanted, which is also not helping my mood.
That’s enough bad, right? Time for the good since you’ve last heard from me.
I’ve picked up an Assistant Editor position with Sundress Publications, something I did not think would happen, but God works in mysterious ways. I was sought after for the position; I did not actively seek it.
Also, although the press from my chapbook is shutting its doors, its journal is remaining open, and they are publishing my second favorite piece from that collection in December, and the editor is super sweet.
One more positive thing is I’ve been leading a few therapeutic writing workshops here in Baltimore for Melony Hill’s Writing for My Sanity workshops. My first one was in August, but she has asked me to return in November and December for three of those workshops, so I’m excited about that. It has been an amazing experience.
I think that’s all of my good news, but if I think of anything else, I’ll let y’all know. I’m really just trying to stay upbeat and happy, or at least I’m just trying to keep moving forward. It’s hard at times, but I can do it!
Take care everybody!