Getting my first 'Returned' manuscript.


It's inevitable. Even before I took writing seriously, I already have my fair share of reading horror stories of how writers received 'reject' or 'returned' manuscript. I haven't had the slightest idea that I would be lucky that I could pass endless revisions and sleepless nights to perfect my manuscript because the publishing company were the one to spot me and offered me a publishing deal for my story. 

And it slipped my mind and didn't really appreciated that fact until I received a question from someone when I was invited as a speaker in Philippine Literary Festival 2014 if how did I deal with receiving a 'returned' or 'rejected' manuscript and I was speechless for a while. While others are explaining, I rehearsed my speech on how I did not really had to deal with that situation yet because all of my published books were approved.

And I don't know if it's a good or bad thing.

I have heard a lot of stories from my other writer friends how they were hurt so bad some of them really did cry after receiving harsh comments on the story they wrote and marking it 'returned' after. It made me feel nervous. Recently, I learned how writing Tagalog Erotic Romance has been a strong point for me. All of the manuscripts I passed there were approved after one time of minor revisions of just little details. And all is well.

Until I decided to try writing something for an imprint that has been my dream to be published there ever since. Yes, the Precious Hearts Romance imprint where my idol Martha Cecilia (may she rest in peace) became well known as the Tagalog Romance Diva. My last vacation in our province gave me the chance and the silence of the surrounding to start a story that I think could be good for PHR.

After a few push and pull, I finally had the courage to pass it last January.

I had been nervous and restless until I received the verdict and it was 'RETURNED.'

I stared at the status after I read the editor's comment on my story. It wasn't really that bad and I agree on some of it somehow but I don't know why I wasn't really hurt or offended. Maybe she was just an egoistic bitch that just got handed her weak point in writing because she received her first RETURNED manuscript after 2 years of being an official published writer and numerous books in the market and it's okay because she achieved more already. I wasn't disappointed either. It felt like I already waited for this time. Not in this particular story, but somehow, I know that there would come a time where my work wouldn't be enough, and it needs more.

Or maybe, it's because I know I still have two more options. Self publishing and passing it to another publishing house since I am a freelance now. And as much as I want to feed my ego more, I also want to learn more, to educate myself more. To progress. So one REJECTED or RETURNED manuscript won't ruin me or would let me back down.

Either way, rather than treating it as a bad experience, I think of it as an another opportunity to expand my knowledge and learn new things. I'll take the comments as a guide in further writing and projects.

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