The Writing War

27 Aug

I got a rejection letter with a bonus today. It was a company to which I had applied to work writing some documentation; while I didn’t make their final cut for interviews, the person who wrote the email said that the intriguing reviews of my novel inspired her to order it. So one more sale, though one fewer job opportunity.

But what’s the real message I should take away? On the one hand, it’s easy to get discouraged. People are finicky in what they want to read. Most of writing is a solitary endeavor; there’s not much feedback as I’m actually doing the work. It’s not social, or easy, or secure. Success is far more often a function of marketing than artistry, and the market is cutthroat. There’s the perpetual question, too, of “so what have you written lately?”

On the other hand, even though someone wasn’t interested enough to interview me (and boy, do I interview well!), my resume was strong enough to merit research. She had to follow at least one link-within-link, if not two, to read the reviews of Grace. And now one more person is reading it. So I wasn’t the top choice for the job, but who knows whom I was up against? I’m marketing one book against millions of novels, and with one more person I’ve won this particular round.

I think it is not a coincidence that wars and marketing are both waged as campaigns. The message I will take away: It is not the individual sale, large or small, but the accumulation of battles won that makes the difference. One more sale, one more order, one more review.

Today, I’ve got one more – and always one more – book to write.

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