Wednesday, October 5, 2011

For the love of writing

Alex Cavanaugh has organized the Insecure Writer's Support Group. "Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" Check out other posts here.



I wait for a response from a query. I feel good. I sent it. That act alone is a success. If it ends up being a passed opportunity (rejection) I can shrug it off to my query letter and that thing is darn hard to write. I mean, how am I supposed to sum up 240,000 words of greatness in 250? I’m exaggerating the word count here, but I hope you get the point. This is what goes through my mind.

But…then comes the requests.

First the partials—from first chapter thru first 50 pages. Okay…I send that out and then again a passed opportunity. Well, okay, I have to concentrate on my first act. Surely once the agent gets through that juncture she will keep reading. How many ways are there to start a story? A gazillion. This definitely gives me something to work with, right?

But then comes the request for a full. Rather than feeling thrilled that another stepping stone has presented itself, the tension rises. The agent sees something…what? I have no idea, but something that garnered interest. I don’t totally suck, right? But then it results in another passed opportunity and this one has triple the heartache ‘cause now it’s on the whole darn thing, words that took me a million and one hours to perfect.

But wait…another agent wants to see the whole thing and on and on it goes.

It’s easy to get distracted from the reason I started writing in the first place. It wasn’t to obtain an agent, it wasn’t to measure my sense of self worth, it wasn’t even to reach out to the world and show them how great I am. I started writing because I needed to put my thoughts on paper. I needed to be free of them like a bad debt. I needed someplace to feel safe. And guess what…I still feel the same. Regardless of passed opportunities, I will continue to write because it is who I am.

22 comments:

  1. You've hit an important point here. I'm not on that merry-go-round yet, but I imagine it must be so hard to hang on to what made you start writing in the first place when you're waiting for responses. Hard, but oh so important.

    I hope you're remembering to be proud of yourself for getting as far as you have, whatever happens next :-)

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  2. Like you started to write and will continue to do so because I love it.

    However, I decided to become an author because I want to get published. What I do during those crazy times when negative distraction threatens to derail me is turn back to the craft and my passion for it.

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  3. I'm glad you continue writing because you enjoy it. Too many continue due to pressures.

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  4. Good for you for reaching that milestone first of all. Second, I so hear you. It's very easy to get caught up in the process and "what does that mean?" and forget that we write because it's a part of us.

    Good luck getting back to the love of writing for itself!

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  5. that is noble! and if you are getting requests, you must be good!

    i write to entertain and i want to share =)
    right now i think getting an agent would be confirmation that my words are worthy

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  6. I like how you mention that a rejection is just an opportunity that passed-- because then it's easier to remember there are lots more opportunities out there!

    Good luck with the querying.

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  7. It only takes one! Don't ever forget that! I had close to 200 rejections and then that one yes! It so hard (not to mention long) but the outcome is so precious! I'm cheering for you all the way!

    xoxo -- Hilary

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  8. Thanks for your comments and warm wishes. It makes a world of difference.

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  9. "I will continue to write because it is who I am." - exactly. Great post!
    -Tyrean at Tyrean's Writing Spot

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  10. That last sentence says it all. Beautiful post!

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  11. ...we write because we must. The urge keeps us up well into the night, at times, awakening us from slumber.

    Whether showered in success, or living paycheck to paycheck, it's what we do, and always will. That's the price, or curse, of storytelling.

    Great post,

    El

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  12. And the wheel goes round and round. Good for you for re-evaluating your priorities and not letting the rat race get to you. ;)

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  13. I encourage you to never give up. You will realize your dreams through persistence and dedication. You are obviously already extremely talented. I can see that from your blog :).

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  14. I haven't gotten to that stage yet. I am still entering writing competitions in an effort to have something to put on a writing resume. I can't even imagine that rollercoaster! But you seem to have kept your reason for writing in the forefront and that will stand to you.

    Nice to meet you and thank you for stopping over at Inkpots n'Quills and leaving a comment. :)

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  15. I haven't reached the point that you're at yet, but when I do I can only hope that I'm as strong as you. Thanks for sharing this.

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  16. Oh girl, I know. Its the waiting after a full that's the hardest.thing.ever.

    Just keep on writing...it's all we can do!

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  17. Thanks! Always can count on the writing community. =)

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  18. Waiting is the hardest part of the writing game. I will tell you it doesn't stop after publication either. Then you wait to see if anyone buys your book, what type of reviews you will receive. Just cling to why you started writing in the first place and keep you IWS group nearby. We are here for you. :)

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  19. First of all, I am so sorry because regardless of how we try to brush it off it does hurt to be rejected. It's good that you're writing for the love of the art. Keep doing that and eventually you will find an agent who recognizes a diamond worth polishing. :)

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  20. Turning your love over into the American Dream can be disheartening, I know. Even published authors are wearied down by bad reviews that stab through their hearts. It's bad! But we always need to remember WHY we started to begin with. The innocence that started us off...

    Good luck with your querying and remember the love that pushed you into writing!


    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

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