Friday, September 14, 2012

Hoping I Never Get That Confident - Or Deranged

Earlier this week I blogged about losing IT with my kids. It happens, not often, but it happens. I’m working on it. Usually it happens because I’m convinced I’m right and I’m trying to make them see, just open their eyes and SEE how their actions are affecting everyone around them. This always backfires and what we all end up SEEing is how immature their mother is.

Well this morning I was reading about the attack on Pam vanHylckama, an agent who was attacked by a disgruntled psychotically-unhinged rejected writer. At first I was horrified, re: W T Heck!? Then I was angry for her and that we live in a world where people are abused and assaulted. My third thought was, I hope I never get that confident in the divine perfection of my own prose.

Personally, every time I get a rejection I tend to think, Yeah. She’s right. And I a little bit think, Isn’t it funny how I was pretending to be a writer these past few years? Then I chill and go back and rework my manuscript a little. I also accidently… all the chocolate.

I cannot imagine being so convinced of my all-powerful writerly-ness that if someone rejected me, I would decide there was something wrong with them and I should therefore stalk them and assault them. Now I’m sure this guy is dealing with issues far more serious than inflated ego, but the thought remains, I hope I never become so in love with myself that I feel the need to unleash my inner demons.

No agent needs me to track her down and dump her satchel out all over the sidewalk. Or maybe if I were really mad, I would lecture her for an hour while she cried. No one needs to experience that. It’s best if my confidence remains safely where it is. That way, the only person who suffers is my manuscript. His name is Phil.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Almost a Rider

Mandy Hubbard spoke a couple of times to our SCBWI chapter today, her evening keynote being playfully titled “Rejection Sucks.” She makes me glad to be part of a community of writers. She was candid and shared the dirty details of what it takes to make it in this industry, even sharing actual text from rejection letters and revision requests she’s received.

What does it take to make it? It takes persistence. Insane, unswerving, willing-to-beat-your-head-against-a-brick-wall-and-beg-for-more persistence.

Sometimes that’s hard to muster. I do not like having a hobby/career that involves pouring my heart out on paper and then sending it around for people to reject or ignore. Suckage? Indeed.

But tonight I was reminded that I’m part of a collective, a sisterhood/brotherhood, a familyhood of people who are passionate about words and ideas and stories and who all experience rejection and who all hate it almost as passionately as they love writing, but they carry on anyway.

And she says it’s worth it. And I choose to believe her.

So far I’ve entered one contest, where I didn’t get past round one. I’ve sent out queries to 15 agents, been flat-out rejected or ignored 10 times, received 5 requests for full or partial manuscripts and had 4 of those rejected so far. Today I participated in a Twitter pitch frenzy and got one and a half requests from that. (One of the requests turned out to be someone who was looking for adult fiction.)

This process all makes me think of Magoo, who yesterday decided that he wanted to ride his bike with no training wheels. So after years of preparation, successes and failures, today he decided to ride and he just rode and now he’s a rider. Wednesday he was not a rider. Today – rider.

Today I am not a published author. Tomorrow – who knows? I’ll dust off my helmet and get ready for success.

This is cross-posted to