The first novel I wrote was considered by Avalon Books in NYC. When they rejected it--this was December of 2008--I was crushed. I said at the time, on this blog, I feel like my sails have lost their wind. Now--instead of a writer being considered--I'm just a writer. I feel less validated. Like I have to start all over again...
It's been two-plus years.
Avalon is a quality publisher, and I have friends who've found success through them, but I'm glad my pacing was off, that the editors didn't care for my story's element of suspense, and that my hero and heroine lacked tension. I'm thankful they didn't pick me.*
The writer I am now, without that publication, is the writer I'm supposed to be.
I'm working on my third novel. Somewhere between that first book and this one, I've found my true writer's voice. I've learned that women's fiction is my strength. I've better-established and set the path to my long-term goals, not the least of which is agent representation. (Avalon does not require representation of their authors.)
I've added to my resume, and bolstered my confidence, and have become part of some awesome projects. I've honed and practiced and still continue to grow into a better writer.
If Avalon had thought differently, would I have grown in these same ways? Would I have found another path? Or molded to a certain style of writing, a particular avenue of publication that could have stunted my development?
How things could be different. I'm glad they're not. Really.
Do you have a similar story? Whether with writing or something else, has there been a near-miss you're now grateful for?
* I'm also thankful for the small nudge that Avalon's interest gave me, and my drive to write.