Friday, May 25, 2012


Several years ago I began a painting (shown below) in a Sarah Shrift's oil painting class at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. After finishing the painting at home, I entered it in the student show. It was rejected. Some month's later I entered the same (unaltered) painting in a professional show and it won an award.

20" x 20" oil on canvas

It is all subjective, Dear Ones. When we do anything creative, some people will hate it, some will love it. So, what do we do with those opinions?

If someone else loves it, does that make it good? If someone else hates it should we cover it with gesso, sand it down, or put it out to the curb for the trash collectors? I think we have to use our own judgement. 

The agent rejected my book. It was a nice rejection—for a REJECTION. She enjoyed my voice and the story. She wished me well in placing it with someone else and reminded me that her opinion was subjective.

Years ago, back in the stone age, when I wrote something that got rejected, I'd address a new envelope, and immediately send it out to someone else.
Sometimes we know, or at least believe, that what we’ve done is good. Leave it as is. Submit it somewhere else. 

But sometimes there is doubt. Look at it again. It’s easier with a painting. It’s visibly right there in front of your face. With a book—58,000 words—it’s harder to know. But the truth is, I do know. The book needs more work, more thought, more time. 
Okay, so back to the laptop, which is much easier than etching in stone.
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  1. Good luck, Lynn. I like your writing voice. I hope you find an agent. And congratulations on completing your memoir.

    I haven't been able to publish a book yet, but now I'm working on rewriting a children's middle grade novel I wrote 8 years ago. I got advice from children's writer Charlotte Herman 8 years ago, and then put it aside. Herman attended a children's author festival I coordinated. I got up the courage to have her read it, and she was very generout to talk with me on the phone about ways I could improve it. She also said nice things about it that were encouraging.

    Maybe you could join a writers group to get feedback. Here in New York, there's a Gotham Writers Workshop that offers classes and manuscript reads. They also do classes online. You could look it up. I haven't used them yet.

    Good luck!

    Best wishes,

    1. Liz, I intended a better response, but this response box keeps locking up. Back in the ston age I wrote a childrens picture book that was published by Lothrup. I also was a speaker in some writers conferences at Oakland University. It was great fun. I hope you'll try all the wonderful things available to you in New York. What an exciting adventure!

  2. I think it takes a lot of courage to write a whole book and after so much work send it to someone for them to accept or reject. It is hard enough to deal with the rejection of a piece of art but you usually have other pieces that you can comfort yourself with and think 'I should have known better and submitted this other piece'. A book is months and months of work and to get is rejected must be very discouraging. So, I really admire your spunk. I think I would have been devastated and given up. So congratulations to you for surviving this so well and for simply getting up and continuing on. That is strong character!

    1. I'm honored that you, one of the most courageous people I know, wrote this. We can do anything!

  3. This SUBJECTIVE comment is really good----honest, simple and strong---well thought out!
    Everytime we create, we run the risk of rejection---actually, everytime we leave our home, we run the risk of rejection.
    You have to have GUTS to LIVE!!
    YOU DO!


    1. My Dear Talented Friend,
      You know better than most about risking rejection. You've got good guts too.



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