35 Days to 35: Betting on the Impossible

Now that we’ve fully accepted the rejection of our manuscript from the printer by eating our comfort food, venting our true feelings, and staring numbly into space, we need to move on.

Rachael and I exchanged a flurry of phone calls and text messages when the news broke, culminating in a two plus hour meeting going over the manuscript and discussing our options. There were several on the table, but only one that we both felt comfortable with.

Self-publishing.

Not that we don’t want to send off the manuscript to other publishers, or that we think it will get turned down. We do, and we don’t know. It might get turned down, it might not.

Mostly, it comes down to timing. If our last experience is any indication, if we sent the book off and got accepted by another publisher this very week, it could be a year to eighteen months before it is actually printed and released. This September, it will be the five year anniversary of the start of filming “No Lost Cause.”
When we penned the book, it had only been three. If things don’t happen soon, our cute little “Behind the Scenes” companion piece to the movie is going to be better categorized as a memoir.

Also, when we wrote the book, I had no idea how to do anything even remotely related to self-publishing. Back when we were still signed with our former publishing company, they guided us through writing a synopsis, gathering endorsements, a forward, dedication page, and acknowledgements. We also got so far as to work on cover design, so I learned a bit about all of those elements. I also learned that it’s a lot of work.

My Mom, Rebekah, then wrote her first book, which I’ve featured on here a couple times. She decided she liked the freedom of self-publishing, and asked if I would be a part of the team (along with my brother Adam and our friend Jillian) that brought that book to publication.

For her book, I passed along my new knowledge. I also learned about cover art, helped clean up her story structure and contributed my limited proof-reading skills. I also listened to hours and hours of podcasts teaching me about all things story and self-publishing. (Thanks StoryWonk and Write 2 B Read!) In November, we released her book, “One Life.” To our eternal surprise, it’s actually done really well. She’s now has 10 five star reviews on Amazon, so I find that encouraging.

We decided our deadline is going to be my birthday. I wanted to do something big, so this is something big. It might even be the impossible. But we’ve bet on the impossible before. If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have a movie in the first place. We may make that deadline, we may not. Either way, we’ll be a lot closer to having a published book than we are right now.

Timing is going to be an issue, and probably something I’ll talk more about in the future. Thursday, I attended the read through for my local High School’s production of “Grease,” for which I’m an acting coach. Today and Sunday I have auditions for our next community theatre production, which I am co-directing, and if not enough people show up to auditions, probably acting in some capacity. I’m also working part-time outside the home. Back in December, I finished up all my lingering video editing projects and laid out these winter months (January and February) as a time to get some serious writing done. I was hoping it would be on the novel I started in November, but that might have to wait.

Life is back to a frantic pace. However, I must remember to take the time to breathe, and to tell myself this is not something to stress about. I am warm, fed, safe and dry. I am a recovering chronic worrier, who has frequent lapses. I will no doubt lapse many times before this is over. But I needn’t do so. As quickly as this all happened, it will be over, and the only thing I want to show for it is a book, not a breakdown. My being worried about all of this will not change it. Worrying never changes it. I can’t worry a book into existence, but I can work one into existence.

I’m saying this to you, so that I can also say it to myself. Matthew 6:34 assures us/me, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Truer words, Matthew, truer words. Today has given me enough trouble. I’ll concern myself with tomorrow’s when it gets here. Tomorrow, I begin the work.


Right at 35 days before my 35th birthday, Rachael and I found out that a book we wrote about our experience making our first film “No Lost Cause,” was being returned to us by the publisher after a year of waiting for it to be printed. Instead of wallowing in our collective misery, I committed to blogging every day while I searched for ways to overcome this perceived rejection and obstacle to our goal. I currently also have about three other projects brewing at the same time, and write about the progress of each of them. This is part of that series.

Read the first entry here: https://ashleyraymerbrown.com/2015/01/23/35-days-to-35-dealing-with-rejection/

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