Earlier this year I suffered a major knockback – the book that was supposed to have been published in Spring 2013, with ARCS and cover ready by this summer was returned to me when a signed contract was cancelled abruptly after a takeover. From all the wonderful messages of support I received, I know that this has happened to many writers and that I am not alone.
In seconds, my glee, excitement and anticipation of the amazing year ahead was crushed by an overwhelming gloom and despondency that surprised and shocked me. I allowed myself to wallow in it for about a week. Of course I know that there are far worse things that could have happened, but, professionally, this felt like the worst. Even though it was not down to me but a business decision made by the not very far-sighted suits who took over a wonderful publishing house with an exceptional list and great authors, didn’t make it any easier.
Eventually, I did what I knew I had to do - I picked myself up, dusted myself down, opened a new file on my laptop and gave free rein to my imagination.
This year has felt much like being on choppy seas, but luckily I have a life jacket. When I first met my agent, she said, “Develop a thick skin – it will protect you,” and she was right. It’s very hard to protect yourself against professional disappointments, but I know that without a life-jacket it would be impossible. Being part of the SAS and getting to know other teen/YA writers who have become friends, I have discovered a support network that is incredible and I am very grateful for it.
So, yes, it is important to find ways to protect yourself as far as you can.
I’m at the Olympic Park today, watching the athletics, so forgive me if I am late responding to any comments.