“Many of the great writing achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on writing.”
I love writing. I have been told that I am very good at it; however dragons from my past can’t believe it. One day I am going to slay that dragon, but right now that dragon, sometimes referred to as doubt consumes me. I won’t divulge the painful reasonings behind my self-doubt; they will go to the grave with me.
Let’s assume, for arguments sake that I am a great writer. I must be. The proof is in the comments of the fifty to a hundred people that have read my work. I love writing; apparently I am good at it. I have one nagging question that remains unanswered. There is one mystery to me that remains a riddle. Why hasn’t one agent seen what my readers see in me? Do agents have a different conception on what can be classified as good? Regular every day Joe’s are the ones who buy most books. Or at least they were the last time I checked.
I just don’t get it.
Shall I say it again? I love writing; it’s the publishing part of the writing I don’t like.
At what point do your dreams become nightmares? When is the correct time to become jaded? When does disappointment become failure? I still have aspirations of getting published. I still hope that my current WIP will be the one to catapult me into a book deal. If not this WIP, then certainly the next or the next or the next.
As I write this, another in a long line of form rejections gracefully falls into my printer’s tray with a soul-shattering thud. Once again an agent, that showed so much promise in the beginning, has proven that she does not share my dream. This agent seduced me with her web site as she beckoned me with her, “this agent is actively building her clients.” How many times have I fallen for that come-hither mesmerizing “this agent represents middle-grade” hypnotizing stare?
It would seem that lessons would have been learned by now. How do we as writers accept getting knocked on our butts, and keep coming back for more? Is it easy for us to see our dreams be dismissed subjectively? How many of us would stop associating with friends that told us that we just didn’t fit in, or were just not right? It is something we as wanna-be-authors face on a daily basis, or ,in some cases, three or four times a day?
Every one of us goes to our email countless times each day, searching for that solitary positive response to our query, coming back empty handed more times than not. We click our inbox closed with our “no news is good news” attitude. We read with interest what other writers say about their queries, and how agent X rejected, or requested a partial, Nano-seconds after they hit send. We wonder why a particular agent has responded to a particular writer, when the same agent has had your query for months without a response.
Well guess what. Rejection is the cold hard fact of the ruthless publishing business. The sooner we accept that 9 out of 10, and sometimes 99 out of 100 queries will get rejected or ignored is all a part of the game and never personal, the sooner we can move on. It’s hard to accept rejection after rejection, after rejection, but we must accept that literary agents do not sit in their offices and choose whose dream to crumble today. Accept that before a flower can grow there needs to be rain, or in my case monsoons.
Each and every one of us is a dreamer. We all chase our own individual rainbow. We all love what we do; writing is a passion for most of us. There is a price we all must pay for our dreams, rainbows are never free. Hope is the price we pay; it’s what gets us through to the next query. There is no doubt we hope our next query is our last query. Without hope there would be no literature.
I have always been a dreamer; I have never given up hope that my dreams will someday be the dreams of the perfect agent.
Give me the patience to accept that which I cannot change, and the courage to hope for my place in the stars.
Never give up. Accept failure with the determination to get it better the next time. Dream the impossible dream, and wish on the evening star.
One day soon, you’ll walk past a reader with their nose in a book and smile and say “that’s me they’re reading.”