Wednesday, January 8, 2014

IWSG--It's hard out there try to let it go



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I’m late to posting. I’ve been dithering all morning. I should have just posted on the first of the year. Now I’m insecure about things I shouldn’t talk about, you know, professional stuff.

This is easily one of the hardest parts about being honest as a blogger and a writer. There are things you shouldn’t talk about on the internet because if things go your way, you could have editors interested in your book scouring over your blog. That’s no big deal if you’ve kept your nose clean and managed not to vent your frustration at publishing and or the writing process.

And let’s face it, waiting is hard. Every now and again, even I have a disparaging thought about this industry. Why does it take so long? How come every agent doesn’t send some sort of response? Why are all the books that are getting requests/agents/bookdeals derivative of UberBlockbusterOfDoom?

Yeah, everyone has those thoughts. And after the queries start to pile up in rejection, we start to wonder why not us? And that’s where some writers go bitter. Worse, that’s where some writers paint themselves as bitter because you know what? Publishing is soul crushingly hard, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense (from the outside).

So instead of talking about my own trials and tribulations—the waiting and the wondering—I’m going to offer this up.

Sometimes, it’s not about how good of a writer you are. Sometimes, you have a great book. Sometimes your writing is beautiful, the book would win prizes left and right, it really could be wonderful on the list of a publisher, but none of that matters because there’s luck involved. Someone needs to have the perfect reaction to your book at just the perfect juncture in their life. What would sell a year ago is now the kiss of death, and it has nothing to do with how good the writing is.

In the mean time, pick yourself up, keep writing, keep querying. Good luck out there, and remember we all feel like this after we’ve been in the thick of it.  

17 comments:

  1. :) Good post, friend. It's hard to recognize that, sometimes... that idea that all things will never be equal, that you're waiting for the magic moment when the editor's mood, the market's slant, the time of day, and the stars all align to land your publishing contract; often it's not a reflection on you or your writing at all. Sigh...

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  2. Rena, these words are so true. We have to make sure we write the best book we can. That's all we can control. From there, we have to hope its the right place, at the right time, with the right person.

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  3. Too true. I also think there are things you can do with books that might have sold a year ago. It's called a literary face lift. =) If you can edit out the things that really make your novel stick with an old fad, you've got a fresh and amazing story, ready to go. Not only that, the effort allows any author to see what really is at the core of their writing--weeding away anything contributed by osmosis of amazing stories you've read and discovering what makes your writing tick.

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  4. People hate to think about luck playing a role, because of course it's out of our control, but it absolutely does. You have to hit the right person at the right time. It's hard. But I do think if you work hard and don't give up, eventually you'll get your luck, too!

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  5. I do believe there is an element of luck involved in the whole process, getting your ms in front of the right editor at just the right time. Tricky! Best of luck to you, Rena.

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  6. Very nice post! And yeah i do think there's a luck/timing element involved and there's really no getting around that

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  7. There's certainly some luck involved. Indeed, I worry when people come out with the idea that if they're determined enough, then of course they'll make it. I wish them all the luck in the world, but it's down to so much more than the simple desire to do it.

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  8. Sometimes, it's all in the timing and has nothing to do with the author or writer.

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  9. It's kind of funny to see you talking about how hard this call can be, when I just mentioned you in my blog, and how you said that writing is the hardest and greatest job in the world. I get the feeling we'll all keep feeling that way, no matter what happens.

    Y'know what, though? Totally worth it. Because when it works, it really is the best thing in the world. And someday we'll look back on this and be glad we went through it, because it made us better.

    ...or we'll just use it to justify our cranky bitterness. Either way. ^_^

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  10. I love this post; it is so tempting at times to rant in public. I never do, though. And, yes, luck has to be involved. As you say, pick yourself up and get out there again...

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  11. There's defintely an element of luck in the process and that makes the whole thing frustrating at times. When we watch characters go through this kind of stuff in the movies, we want them to just keep trying over and over again, because we know everything is going to work out in the end. In real life, there are no guarantees that everything will work out in the end, which makes it tough to keep going sometimes.

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  12. This might sound corny, but one of the things I promised myself as I embarked upon writing what turned out to be my first novel was that I would never turn bitter or cynical as I've seen some writers become. I know the odds are against me reaching publication, but if I find joy in the journey I see no reason I shouldn't continue. As the writer, I want to focus on the stories and my craft, and not so much on where my final product might end up.

    I guess I should consider what I put on my blog though. I think I rant more about my own obscurity than the 'industry' itself, but it's sure something I should keep in mind.

    I've got my fingers crossed that 2014 turns up something wonderful for you. You deserve it!

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  13. I love your last two paragraphs - so true and so heartening!

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  14. Oh my gosh... if this isn't the truth. It's really SO TRUE how much luck and timing is involved. Which is part of the reason that makes this all so frustrating. This whole process definitely is the ultimate trial. It really is. Great post as always, Rena. :)

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  15. I agree completely. Sometimes I read a book and wonder, "how did this person get published?" Of course, ALL of my books are perfect ; ).

    Thanks for the reassuring words!
    Leanne ( http://readfaced.wordpress.com/ )

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  16. I agree with you 100%. I've read some blockbusters that make me scratch my head and some excellent books that never get traction. I just keep reminding myself that I write because I love to write and what will be will be.

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  17. I'm right there with you. Everything seems like it's in place, but the luck. Being at the right place at the right time. So many authors also refer having just finally hit the magical moment after years of seemingly bad timing.

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