My son's Little League team had a tough game today. Coach told them two important things: First, that he's proud of them. Second, that you learn just as much from losses as you do wins. Maybe more. The important thing is going into the next game ready to play ball.
Boy, does that ring true in this publishing business fraught with rejection. Many of you know that PACK OF DORKS is my first published book, but not the first manuscript I've written. And here's the truth: I'm grateful my first manuscript didn't make it onto shelves. It wasn't--I wasn't--ready. I learned much from the rejections and advice from seasoned players in the publishing game. That doesn't mean, of course, that the losses there didn't sting. They did. A lot. I still feel the burn of those rejections. I feel them even more, a pricking pain under a scar, as I wait for the early reviews of my next turn up at bat--A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE.
But tonight, as he prepped for bed, my son didn't talk about the losing the game. He buzzed about the teammate who scored a home run, and how the whole team ran out to meet him on home plate.
And, though I'm biting my nails waiting to hear what readers think of the advance reader copies of A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE, I'm going to focus instead on the good that has already happened. Today, I met a girl who told me with a sweet smile that she really liked PACK OF DORKS. (Gotta say, I try to play it cool when things like that happen, but it makes my heart flutter every time. I've never scored a homerun--never even made it to base--in a real baseball game, but I've got to think moments like that feel a lot like that moment.)