This time last week I was in Switzerland and I was literally sky-high. The trip to Zermatt was for my hubby’s special birthday last month. He wanted to see the Matterhorn up close and as we had to fly to Geneva, it made sense to also see the city rather than just the airport.
The holiday exceeded our expectations on every level and the highlight was taking a helicopter flight to the tip of the Matterhorn. But this blog isn’t a travelogue although it is my way of sharing ideas and images that inspire my writing. Of course, waking up with a view of the Matterhorn is exciting and taking a cruise on Lake Geneva was lovely but the things that stood out for me weren’t always on the obvious tourist route.
I love people watching and as the cost of food and drink was so expensive, we often ate a pastry or sandwich on a park bench. This gave me the chance to indulge in my favourite sport of people watching and it was fascinating. Jeezo, the sights you see when you haven’t got a gun!
If I wanted to write about Switzerland, I could’ve used Google to zoom in on a scene but there’s no way that it’s the same as actually visiting a place and experiencing not just the sights but the sounds, smells, tastes and the feel of the snow under foot. The trip was amazing but when I landed back at Edinburgh airport and fired up my mobile my bubble was well and truly burst.
Waiting for me, was an email from the literary agent I’d had a relationship with a few years ago. I’d sent her my latest novel in the hope that she’d be keen to represent me again. I quickly scanned through the praise, “the voice is very impressive” and “the novel is strong” to reach the punchline…”the hard truth is I don’t think this is commercial enough for me”. Not the best welcome home!
I unpacked my suitcase, loaded up the washing machine and kept busy to stop myself from wallowing and it helped to read Isabel’s Costello’s excellent blog post, Coping with Rejection. Isabel and I have long accepted that rejection is part of the process on the quest to be published and although it hurts to be knocked down, we both always bounce back.
So now my next move is to find an agent and publisher who believe in my novel as much as I do! And there’s always examples like Eimear McBride’s debut being rejected by publishers for almost a decade but it beat the Pulitzer Prize-winning Donna Tartt to the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction to keep me motivated, so there’s hope for me yet…
How do you cope with rejection? Do you find it hard to keep the faith?