Thursday, October 3, 2013

Recovering From Disappointment

Recovering From Disappointment
By Annabel Aidan

Just as everyone prepared for a happy holiday weekend, I got a blow on a write-for-hire contract.  They’d strung me along for three months, telling me how much they loved the proposal, didn’t even have to change a comma and so on and so forth.  I wasn’t going to do any more work on it until we had a signed contract, because nothing is real until the contract is signed, but I felt good from the encouragement.

Meanwhile, they went behind my back and hired someone with less practical experience, but more degrees.  And then dumped me.

It was a blow, the next three months’ worth of primary work for me.  I had a true dark night of the soul, wondering why the hell I even bother with all this.

And then, I got up the next morning, wrote a new book proposal for a book I want to write, rather than something someone else wants me to write to their specifications, spent a few days massaging it, and sent it to my agent.

At the same time, I’m back editing a trilogy that needs to get out the door by the end of the year, juggling two new novels (one of which is far out of my wheelhouse and very exciting), remounting a play of mine, writing a grant to fund another play, and in negotiations for several more.

Part of me wanted to wallow, and lots of me is worried how I’ll make ends meet, since the lost contract would have been a substantial amount of my income.  Originally, I’d planned to wallow all weekend, but by the next morning, there just didn’t seem any point.

We all face disappointment and rejection in this business.  We need to acknowledge it.  If we repress it, it will manifest in unhealthy ways.  And then we need to figure out how to pick ourselves up and move on.  Because the disappointment can be the catalyst to better work.

--Annabel Aidan publishes under multiple names.  Her paranormal romantic suspense novel, ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, is available from Champagne Books.  Her webpage is


Anonymous said...

Courage is not what we do in the light of day, but how we deal with the darkness of night. Had to keep telling myself that during 11 months of cancer treatment. You have strength when you stare the devil down and spit in his eye. Hang in there.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Veronica Helen Hart said...


It sounds like you have no time for self-pity. That was quite a blow, but you sure picked yourself up and with so many projects in the works, you'll make it.

Years ago when my husband and I started out to consider ourselves writers, we had trouble believing it could ever work out. Neither of us wanted to continue our day jobs. One day, a cold, bleak, snowy one in upstate NY, I lay on the sofa in the back room and had my own pity party. The dog announced the mailman but I waited another two hours before checking the mail. Three envelopes from three magazines to which we had submitted material were in the packet of mail. Readers Digest, Dog Fancy, and St. Joseph's Messenger all sent us checks for our stories! What a boost to our egos, to say nothing of the bank accounts. All the girls were either still at home or at college - every penny counted. That day taught me a good lesson - I'm still trying to decide if it is to have faith in our abilities or that lying on the sofa in a self-pitying fog of depression brings the money.

Liz Fountain said...

Our work requires us to face not only disappointment, but rejection. We put a bit of ourselves out there with every project, and wait (and hope) someone else will want to share it. When they don't, it can feel very lonely, not to mention fearful when it means a gap in income.

I keep working on the faith to say "no" to a few more paid work offers in order to say "yes" to more time invested in the writing I want (and need) to do. It's scary, but also exciting.

Thanks, Annabel!

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I'm glad this didn't put you off your goals for longer than a few bad days. You'll be fine and now you know you can survive in this "manic-depressive business." A quote from Gary Provost, a well known ghost writer.

Nikki said...

Your last line says it all--disappointment can be the catalyst for better work. And knowing the quality of your work and the energy you pour into it, I have every faith you'll be fine. Stay in touch.