I’ve been getting a lot of rejections from potential publishers and agents recently. It’s tough, it’s disheartening and often discouraging, but I plough on. I want my books to reach my readers in the best way possible – the waiting game is tough. Patience is truly a virtue and all that … or though they say.
Like most people (I’m guessing) I put weight on at Christmas. Well, to be honest, I think I started putting weight on well before Christmas, but shush! Play along with me. Winter is a tough time for exercise anyway – who wants to be outside in the wet and cold, jogging around a muddy field, or forest pathway where the bark chips are slippery. I actually sprained my ankle pretty badly last year, which stopped me from jogging, and I never started it again when it healed.
Last month though, I went again. I forced myself to go. I willed myself to stop being a lazy arse and bloody go for a jog. I was like an asthmatic steam train. I was panting so much, I got weird looks from people. One dog walker even pulled there dog away from me like I had some awful disease I would pass on to it.
I left unimpressed.
But I forced myself to go again. And again. And again. I’ve been about seven times now, and this very last time, I even managed to sprint to my finishing point. It was a great feeling. I was so proud of myself. I listen to a playlist as I run around …
BUT – during the last few times, I’ve found myself letting the music fall away into the background and I’ve thought about my characters – characters you haven’t met yet, characters I need to get to know better myself. I’ve got a few projects planned and partly planned, and I’ve used this jogging time to try and think less about the exercise and weight loss and more about where I’m going to take my characters, what I am going to put them through.
Exercise, I’ve found, is not only a good-feel pastime for getting fit, but also in helping a writer zone in away from a desk, and a computer and a coffee shop. It’s a very liberating feeling, running around a wood, talking to your characters as if they were real, because they are real, to us.
My advice for any writer is: to run. Exercise and not only feel the benefit of it health-wise, but also in your writing. Cardiovascular exercise does stimulate the brain, you know. And what I’ve found with all these rejections, is that the exercise is helping me stay strong. I’m positive in defeat. I’ll try again to another publisher. I’ll get it somewhere. Because I have to think like that – I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. I’ve got more to give, I know I have. Yes, I do get down, but it won’t last long.