How To Beat Black Sunday Blues

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Rayne Beating Black Sunday Blues

I received a lot of help creating my book proposal for “Confessions of an Undutiful Daughter” and learned first hand how elaborate the standard format for this manuscript shopping tool can be. It blew my mind that it ended up being about 35 pages long.

My readers know that I nearly had heart failure hitting the “send” button when I e-mailed it to a famous agent. Within a week I had a very thoughtful response within a kindly worded rejection.

The experienced writer in me knows I should think “One down — 99 to go!” and keep working. But in the days that followed I began to brood it.

When you finally wrap your dream in a bow and somebody else treats it like a gift of used cat litter it’s tempting to sulk just a little tiny bit. And that’s what I did last Sunday sprawled out on the couch, watching “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the 500th time.

My Lord Aunt Stephanie! You just about gave me a heart attack!

Yep. I was having my own personal Black Sunday with Boo Radley.

When I get my sulk on the only other person who has to suffer along with me is Mr. Wonderful, my husband of 15 years. We met when I was transitioning out of one career and fighting my way into journalism. My husband supported me in my journey. In those early days it seemed like each byline was toasted with champagne and a happy dance.

I remember us driving to a 7-11 late one night and asking the clerk to cut the cord on the bundle of papers to see my very first Sunday column in the S.F. Chronicle; then giggling all the way home. After we married I was a self-syndicated columnist; the kind of writer that readers treat like a trusted friend. Praise the writing gods I went on to work as a reporter for the past decade and my husband was proud of me whether I was getting in a cage with a wild animal or covering a fire.

My mentors, teachers and colleagues deserve all the credit for helping me become a real writer. But my husband deserves special thanks for always keeping the faith, especially when I struggled.

So — Surprise! Surprise! – Mr. Wonderful has banned any sulking at Wolfe House over one little rejection. Indeed, he sat me down and reminded me of all my past successes and told me that I need at least nine more rejections before I earn another 15 minutes of sulking.

Then he pointed to the stack of reader questionnaires on our dining room table and reminded me that I’ve got a lot of work yet to accomplish. Apparently, it’s not enough to hunch over these questionnaires with a highlighter and a box of Kleenex. I have to rewrite them into smooth narratives too.

You’ve got amazing stories to tell. These voices cover every aspect of your topic and they trusted YOU to translate them, finish the book and get it published, Mr. Wonderful said.

Until next non-black Sunday,

Rayne Wolfe’s dream is to write her first book Confessions of an Undutiful Daughter by the end of 2011. She completed her dream journey May of 2011 on 8WD after a year living her dream. You can find her at Toxic Mom Toolkit on Facebook.

  • Heather Montgomery, CEO & serial entrepreneur

    Congrats sweets! You got the first NO out of the way of all the YES that’s headed your way.

    I totally understand the sulk bolstering that husbands can offer – mine does the same for me when I hit a brick wall. Congrats on the work so far… I’m still working on my questionnaire!

    Hugs – Heather

  • Carole

    Hi Rayne

    I remember when I first tried to get Schutzhund (tracking, obedience and protection) titles on my two German shepherds. My beloved Shomer (who we lost on Oct 30 at the age of 13 yrs and 9 months) had a mind of her own. She was feisty, determined and had a spirit like no other dog I have ever known. She always got 100 on the tracking and protection work. Her obedience on the other hand was not so pretty. She was very well behaved/trained. She just was not “obedient enough.”

    The first judge told me that I would never get a title on her. Like you at first I started to brood. When I snapped out of it I said to myself “she just marches to the beat of a different drum.” She is only a year old. This is the first trial we entered. We have her lifetime (how ever long that was to be) to get her titled.” When I entered her in the second, third and fourth trials, same thing. When it came to obedience she wanted to play. I figured at this rate Zohar, my male German shepherd (who was 3 yrs younger) would have all his titles before Shomer had one.

    Then I decided I would adjust to her instead of having her conform to the stiff rules. When she was silly I did what I always did with her – laughed. Yep, we laughed our way through trials.
    Not only did we get the titles, I swear she was the HAPPIEST dog out there during trials.
    And we went on to do Search and Rescue and she also sniffed out drugs.

    Had I listened to a few judges not only would I have given up, neither of my dogs would have been titled and I would have missed out on a lot of fun with them.

    Just because ONE person rejected your book just means there is one person who does not know what a good book and good writing is. And when the book is published the first agent who turned you down is going to wish he had not.


  • Remy, Photographer & CEO of Cornerstone Creative

    black outs, computer crashes – nothing will stop you! The impact you’ve had on my witnesssing family dynamics is interesting. I was in target last week, witnessing an older sister literally smack around her younger sister for taking stuff off of a shelf – while the mother not only allowed it to happen, she simply abdicated the adult responsibility to the older sister. It was sickening. I said a few things outloud in earshot of the mother, who walked off in a huff with her kids – well, maybe it was a huff about something else. in thinking about it, as a parent the only time I’ve wanted others to relieve me of my parenting duties is when I”m so tired i don’t wanna deal with it. At those times, now, I get over myself and just do it – so thanks Rayne. xox Rem

  • Lisa

    Well I am proud of you that you 1) COMPLETED the book proposal, 2) sent it in and 3) are writing this book at all! It will touch so many people! Go you!

    And like Mr. Wonderful said, this is just the beginning… and many people have entrusted you with their stories. It’s going to be a wonderful book.

    Give thanks for that awesome husband, for this project, and for all that is to come as a result of this book – and get back to work! :) (Look I’ll need to take my own advice when I start seeking agents soon, I’m sure – here to cheer you on in the interim!).

    Lots of love,