Determination and Perseverance

My rejection letters have been trickling in. I’ll be honest. I’ve received so many rejection letters for my current complete work, they don’t even phase me any more. I went into the query business quite naive. I had this awesome novel I’d finished, and the agents would flock to get it. (I’m actually laughing as I type this). Yeah, I was that arrogant.

The first rejection I just brushed off as no big deal. Just one agent, right. Then they started rolling in one after another. Something was wrong! Anyway, I’m still working on what’s wrong. haha

It’s funny. With all the rejection I’ve received, I still have hope of getting my novel published. I still believe in it!

When I received a couple of rejections one day last week, I shared the news with my husband first chance I got. Then I added, “That’s okay. I’m doing more revisions right now. I still have a list of agents to go. When I run out of them, I’ll got to the publishers. The more I work on this the more I know I’ll get it published.”

Wishful thinking? Maybe. I ask you though. When should I give up on becoming a published author? I hope you say never. 🙂

I started with paranormal romance, cause I love to read it. Not until after I finished my novel did I realize the market is flooded with it. No doubt, the market’s tough out there. So what am I doing about it? I’m trying to find my own plot of unclaimed land. I’m also working on other projects. Cause really, there’s no reason to put all my eggs in one basket. Plus, if I’m a writer, I’m a writer. How can I be a writer if I’m doing nothing but editing and never producing anything new.

I’m telling you all this (aspiring writers like myself and whoever wants to listen) so you know when I get published, it wasn’t because it was easy. It was because I was determined, persevered, and convinced I would beat the odds.

Believe in yourself, in your work, and keep on truckin’!

What stories do you have to share about your climb to publication?

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There’s still time  to Enter

Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Rejection

Rejection. I’ve had more rejections since I started writing than I’ve had most of my life. It started with critters, then literary agents, the publishers. Rinse and repeat as I revised my work umpteenth times. As an aspiring writer looking for publication, it can be a way of life. That big break is always over the horizon…just out of reach, but one day…one day…or not.

Writing with rejection on my mind is the worst for my muse. For me, it saps my motivation and leads me to develop characters/scenes/stories which aren’t true and dear to me. Constantly changing this and that to meet the demands of the subjective audience with the hope someone…just someone might love it the way I loved it when I first typed the words on the screen. In the end, I’m left with one big mess of wishy washy characters, a story arc which falls flat, a novel I can’t stand to read, and absolutely no desire to write another. Cause really…what’s the point if I can’t get it published anyway?

FULL STOP

Yes, publishing is a goal for many authors, including me, but it didn’t start out that way. Remember why you first started writing. I know my original goal for writing wasn’t to get published. I had a story. I wanted to tell it. I had the time to write it. And I so I did–A big accomplishment for me.  85k words later I held my completed manuscript, full of pride. I wrote a full length novel! I didn’t know anyone in my little world who could say that. Then I thought…hmmm I wonder if I could get it published.

I did a little research, learned about critters, sent it for critiques and had my bubble burst. What I heard, not necessary what they said was, I did nothing right. I started the story in the wrong place, they hated my characters, and my writing style was boring.

Then came the thoughts, maybe I’m not a writer. It took a while for me to realize hey, I wrote a novel. The writing wasn’t the greatest, but I did it. I didn’t do it for the critters, I did it for me. I did it because I wanted to do it. I don’t have to write to put bacon on the table. And from what I hear, most writers have day jobs, including published writers. I had to ground myself back into reality. Polishing the work is a bonus. Finding an agent is a bonus. Publishing is a bonus. Writing a story I want to tell and read is a joy.

I am a writer, and that is why I write.

People, I’m talking to you Mister/Miss Author, you don’t need affirmation to keep writing. You didn’t need anyone’s permission when you put your first words to paper. Why do you need them now? You may or may not get published. Then again, you may or may not win the lottery. Who cares? Just write the best story you can. Continue to do your research. And remember why you first started writing.

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love [Write] like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”

Thank you, Mark Twain.

Dealing with Rejection

As some know, I’m in the process of finding a literary agent for my first piece of work Shadow Cat. Though I’ve only been at it since December 26, 2009, it hasn’t been an easy task. I’ve had quite a few rejection letters, most of them a simple no thanks from the agent.

I’ll be honest. My first rejection came as a complete surprise to me. I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll mention it again. I’m a bit conceited. I think my work is great. That’s not to say it can’t use some improvements, but I believe in my work. It probably wasn’t until about the 5th rejection when I thought to myself…hmmm, something might be wrong with my queries or my first chapters.

I trimmed my novel, wrote a different query letter, and sent it out to the wonderful literary agents with too much to do and too little time to review. At this point, I have to admit, I was a little less confident. I was just happy I didn’t query everyone at once and burn all my bridges in one go.

One thing I found I hated more than anything was waiting. Many literary agents have this rule: Don’t bother us. If we’re interested we’ll let you know. If you even THINK about nudging, you can assume your stuff is rejected. I’ll be honest. I’d rather have a form rejection or even “No Thanks” in the subject line and an empty message than the silent treatment any day.

Anyway, more rambling. My next set of queries came back rejected also. So, back to the drawing board. I took time away from my current WIP to reedit Shadow Cat. This is where I totally became burnt out on writing. It took me days afterward to find motivation to write again. This time I limited my queries to agents who were responsive according to other writers.

Okay…this has dragged on way to long. Let’s just say I did this rewriting thing many times. Finally I received a request for a full manuscript, which was rejected by the way. But the feedback, just a couple of lines, was motivating (after I got over being bummed about the rejection of course). It gave me an opportunity to look at my work in a new light.

Anyway, I’m tired of the query process for now. If nothing comes of these last few queries, I’ll set it aside for about a month, unless I find some extra motivation. I need to concentrate on my next works of art instead of letting these rejections drag me down.

My stats:

As of today, I’ve sent out 28 queries. Not sure if that’s a lot in a 1 1/2 month period or not.

  • 15 Rejected Queries
  • 2 I’ve written as no response to Queries
  • 10 outstanding Queries (4 probably no response)
  • 1 request for Full
  • 1 rejection for Full

If nothing else, the novel after Shadow Cat is a stand alone, so I can market it separately. Onward!

Update 2/19/2010 @2pm: I couldn’t help myself. I applied to another literary agency.