How well you handle disappointment says a lot about your character. Life dishes up disappointment like daily specials at a corner diner.  They’re the speed bumps of life.  Some bumps are small like rain on the day you’ve planned an outside activity.  Others  are major like losing your house keys when you need to get to the bathroom. When life dishes up surprises I have a few choice ways for handling the unexpected.  I curl up in bed and hide under the blanket or cry in my soup and accept the inevitable, or square my shoulders to dig deeper for more determination.

This week my writing career hit a speed bump.  Like many diligent writers, I followed all the rules. I wrote the best manuscript I possibility could.  I shopped it around at several conferences, found an interested editor and sent it to her. Then, I started to work immediately on my next story idea.  In between I watched the phone and the mail, waiting for those magically words.  I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.     

I waited four long grueling months before I decided to check on my manuscript.  I felt like someone had poured ice water down my back when I was told my manuscript could not be found.  Four months of waiting and nothing to show for it.  I had to reset the clock and start all over again.  The editor was kind enough to request I resend the manuscript and I did.  But first I had to wallow in my misfortune.  I gave myself four whole days to nurture my disaster.  Then I dusted off my melancholy and mailed another manuscript.  The waiting clock has been reset, life has returned to normal.  I’m waiting.

When life throws you a curve ball, what do you do?


  1. When life throws me a curve ball I duck. But then I have terrible hand-eye coordination. That said, I’m fairly resilient and it takes a lot to make me quit. I’m glad you didn’t either.

    • jackikelly says:

      Kate, we’ll keep on trying and I’ll happen.

    • Wow! This is such a wonderful question and thought provoking. I’ve been thrown so many curve balls lately but I found myself responding to each one of them differently. When it’s a fast ball, it knocks me down. Sometimes I have to lay for a few minutes to get the strength and the air in my lungs to get up. When I do finally get up, I find my strength in prayer knowing that somewhere in life another ball will probably be coming my way. It makes me stronger.

  2. Oh, Jacki. This is so disappointing. I give you a lot of credit for dusting yourself off and trying again. Keep knocking on that door of opportunity. It WILL open! 🙂

  3. When life throws me a curveball I wallow in self-pity for a few days, then I pick myself up and keep going. Good luck with the manuscript. That happened to me once. I resent the manuscript after 18 months where the editor kept ignoring my emails, then said they lost the mss. I resent it and never heard from them so I moved on. I hope you have better luck.

  4. At least your ms. wasn’t rejected, it was simply misplaced. Good for you for not letting this misstep derail your career goals. We need tough skin to deal with all the pressures and heartaches of a writing career.

    Best of luck!

  5. I guess I just deal with it. And I know you’ll go far so keep telling yourself it really is only a little speed bump. Hiding under the covers only makes real disasters worse.

    For me, to deal with these little speed bumps, I try to find the silver lining – if there is one and there usually is. It’s kept me going in this tough industry for a long time. Yours in this case would be you didn’t wait longer. A one year wait was once the norm. I waited nearly a year and just before I planned to call – the manuscript arrived on my doorstep with a lovely rejection. The editors all loved it but they didn’t publish romance. The manuscript had gotten misdirected to the wrong floor and wrong publisher.

    Where was the silver lining? I now knew there was hope.It didn’t suck. Which meant I was at least on the right track. And even though that book didn’t sell, it’s now twenty-three published books later, so I guess I wasn’t wasting my time.

    Good Luck and may all your silver linings be easy to find.

    Kate Welsh

  6. I use to tell my children when they were coming up that things happen in life, so, it’s ok to take a day to sniff, snot and cry, but, the next day you have to get up and keep it moving.

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