The long, hard road
I had lunch yesterday with a friend, one I met a million years ago when he hired me for a position at an Atlanta nonprofit. He moved on from the job and I soon followed, but our friendship remained. We’ve met for lunch or cocktails a few times a year ever since.
About six years ago, during one of our get-togethers, he told me about a screen play he’d just written. Apparently, it was a long-time dream of his to see one of his stories on the big screen, and he’d reached a now-or-never age and place in his life, so he took a million classes, read a million books, and went for it. This was around the time I was coming out of the closet about my own writing habit, so we bonded about our struggles and insecurities and the long, hard road we had both just embarked on.
He was one of the first people I told when I signed my contract with Harlequin MIRA, and now it looks likely there will be a film premier in his near future. Our bi-annual luncheon turned into an impromptu celebration.
More than six years it took us to get here, which unless you’re on the receiving end of a six-year-long string of rejections may not seem like a long time, but as the recipient of that six-year-long string of rejections let me tell you, it is. A really, really, REALLY long time.
Every writer gets rejections, and we console ourselves by saying that every rejection brings us one step closer to a ‘yes’. Just because it’s true and logical doesn’t make it any easier to hear when you’re buried under six years’ worth of rejection letters, but if I’d had any inkling that my friend and I would end up here, at a lunchtime table toasting to book launch parties and red carpets appearances, I would have been a lot less devastated whenever one of those rejections popped into my inbox.
But yeah, six years later and we’re finally legit. We’ve finally reached the end of the long, hard road.
But as I told my friend at lunch, this is really only the beginning.