Sunday, June 1, 2014

A lesson in staying strong

Update:  I've sent out 115 queries to literary agents.  I've heard 5 polite refusals, and had one request for my whole manuscript.  One email address was rejected and another isn't taking on new clients at all.  So ... that's that.

I'm learning many a lesson in this process.  First and foremost is the lesson of staying strong and believing in my goal even when someone declines my project.  It's very hard for a person, like myself who is extremely hard and critical of oneself, to not take those words completely to heart and never write again. 

I haven't done this before, this ... submitting of my work.  Why?  Because writing is a passion.  It's a joy I have.  It's an escape from the real world at times.  It is something that deep down makes me truly, unbelievably happy.  If I hear back from the rest of those people and they all say no?  Well ... certainly that is going to affect how I live my life.  It might make me not write anymore.  Why?  Well, obviously, I"m not very good at it.

Of course, I still have probably hundreds if not thousands of queries to send out.  I'm not saying I'd give up if all original 115 are Nos.  But, if I keep going and there are hundreds and thousands of nos ... well, I might rethink things a little bit.

I'm already hyper critical of my work.  While scrolling through it yesterday, changing things here and there, I found myself shaking my head at it.  I didn't think it could stand up on its own. 

The problem is, I am an avid reader.  I read a lot, by a lot of different authors, and a lot of different genres.  There are some TREMENDOUS writers out there.  I soak up their work and wait, anxiously, for another book to come out with their work.  I love to read.  I love the written word.  I am obsessed with it. 

So, after reading such amazing work, I find mine lacking a little bit.  Of course, it is only a first draft.  I am sure there are plenty of revisions in my future.  In fact, I'll even go through it again (after I finish going through it this time) and probably change/add more.  Just now, I've thought of a few things that could be added to it.  I feel like it needs a little something.  I don't know.

I have a solid, amazing idea for my next project of which I am already 31 pages into.  I just sort of feel like I need to walk away from the first one for a day or two and focus solely on project # 2 called "Between Friends" for now.  Maybe I'll come back to "Mirror, Mirror" and look at it with fresh eyes and do my changes and feel a little better about it.

I am taking Mirror, Mirror to be bound at Office Depot as soon as I am done with those 2nd and 3rd revisions.  People want to read it and I would rather hand them something that is bound together than something loose, or in digital format. 

Even thinking of people in here reading it, makes me cringe.  What if they are sharing stories about how I suck when I am not here?

I guess I'm incredible protective of my little hobby and am worried that I should realize that I need to hang up the pencil forever.  I'm afraid of losing that part of me.

Does this make any sense at all?

Anyway, that's where I am now.  I am trying to think positively.  "Harry Potter" was turned down hundreds of times and ended up being this HUGE deal.  I don't expect to be a huge deal, I just want to write and be published. 

Anything can happen ... I just have to be strong and not give up. 

1 comment:

  1. I think of my writing as my baby. It's hard to imagine someone being critical of your baby. I am sitting here cheering for you! You are brave for taking the step. If you were here with me we'd be jumping up and down like teenage girls. I'm so excited for you!