As hard as it is, I have to be honest. I submitted The Traveling Gnome once more and was rejected a fourth time. I knew another rejection would come even as I hit the send button. My manuscript lies on the genre spectrum somewhere between a wholesome children's chapter book and an adventurous middle-grade novel. I need to either pare it down or amp it up and this will require more rounds of revision. I am willing to do the work, but I've also started writing short stories and have some serious ADD when it comes to sticking with one piece at a time until it's finished; see here.
During the time I spent waiting for the latest rejection (it's not recommended to remain idle), I wrote another short story for an anthology that is published bi-annually. The writing process was so exciting but the submission process was terrifying—in a good way. I still have not received an answer but I'm going to try to sell it elsewhere if it does get rejected.
A writer's trial is this: you invest in your story with your heart and soul. Your words flow forth, your emotions weave through, and then at some point, you realize it might not touch others the same way. The beautiful tapestry within your hard-worked plot somehow ceases to dazzle when it is released into the world.
One thing I'm learning as I stick to the well-trodden path towards publication is that not everyone enjoys reading the same types of books. Not everyone will like my writing. And this is okay. There are some who do. And it is for you, my super-amazing hero Readers, that I will continue to write what is on my heart and make it available for you to read. At some point, perhaps my persistence will pay off, and I'll be able to put a novel of some sort into your hands. : ) Here's to that day!