Last week was a rough one. I received two rejections for my book proposal. On the same day. Oof. It hurt to hear two random people who do not know me personally echo the same sentiment. They both communicated to me that they did not have the bandwidth to market/sell a book to a publisher for someone who does not have a large following.
With both emails, I read them quickly and closed my phone. I didn’t want to re-read them. I knew going into writing a book that I would face rejection. A LOT of rejection. Knowing it and experiencing it first hand though are two different things. Last week I was a mixed bag of emotions. Feeling like a failure for not having enough “followers” and for not being able to convince an agent to take a chance on me. I’ve mentioned before how much I dislike promoting myself. It comes with the territory of being a published author, but it’s really like pulling teeth for me.
I went back to the drawing board and started to contemplate joining Tiktok. For a split second, I thought maybe if I do videos of my cooking or trying food hacks I can gain a following that will hopefully buy my book and can land me an agent! I was seriously desperate. I have nothing against bloggers or food content creators, but that ain’t my jam. I have no desire to create food or content for likes, comments, or shares (with the exception of this newsletter so please feel free to share!).
Cooking brings me joy. Photographing it to death does not. It actually brings me uneasiness + anxiety. I have been thinking a lot about how performative cooking has become. It’s become a show and we’re all just watching it with bated breath. Anyways...I digress. Back to rejection.
If I learned anything last week it’s that I have tougher skin than I think. Luckily, my pity party and cockamamy social media schemes didn’t last long. I had to adjust my expectations, after all, I did just get into this book proposal game and I’m in for the long haul. I decided to take a break from reaching out to more literary agents and to focus on my book and several other projects that I have up in the air. I also had to adjust the expectations I have on the timeline of this book. It may take longer to produce than I originally anticipated- which is OK.
This experience has made me broaden my thinking in terms of how I may actually get this book published. I never really wanted to deal with self-publishing + all the associated costs of printing + marketing, but it’s something that I’m now having to consider. I refuse to let the publishing gatekeepers silence this book. This book is exactly about that- silence. The communities + people that will be featured in my cookbook have been silenced for so long. Their histories + recipes are barely written down, mostly passed down generation by generation orally. That being said I’ll just keep moving along with the process of writing this book with more conviction than I had before.
In way happier news, I made a f*ckin’ delicious chocolate mousse pie. Here’s the proof + the recipe I adapted mine from a Chocolate Mousse Pie recipe from Epicurious.
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Cook. Eat. Repeat.