Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6th
Blogging is new to me, but even for a neophyte, I can tell that this blog is rather dull.  Because writing and publishing is basically about waiting. When you're in writing mode, you have to do a lot of listening. It's not so much driving the train full steam ahead as listening for the sound of wheels on the tracks. Now that I am not writing, I am at the mercy of the marketing machine (no criticism - thank God it is there) and so I am waiting, waiting currently for the editor's notes, so that I can take another swipe at the text. She says she is almost finished. So, it's a lot of thumb twiddling and not much excitement for now.
In the meantime, I had a local reading of another of my books last Saturday. I am itching to re-write yet another of my books. I went on Tuesday to hear Kathryn Stockett who wrote the best-seller "The Help." She had sixty rejections from agents, so many of what I had, too: "Thank you for the opportunity to read your novel "The Help," [Duntrune, Dunadd, Hazel...] While there is much to commend about your book, I am afraid I just did not fall in love with the story." I think at that stage, the worst thing is fearing what the people you know must think.."Well, she says she's a writer, but no one else seems to think so." "Why is she spending all that time pretending to be something she is not?" Coupled with this is the parrot on your own shoulder: "It's never going to happen." "You're being delusional." "You're just not made of the right stuff." The doubts pour in, especially if you have a cynical (or two) member of your own family. Their silence seems to say it all. Isn't it terrible how we do this to ourselves? After sixty rejections, you have to be pretty convinced that God himself has spoken to you and told you that you will be published. Nothing short of that will keep you ploughing ahead. In Kathryn Stockett's case, it was the sixty-first agent. She said, "I'm sure she just felt sorry for me." In my case, it was...I don't know, because I stopped stuffing that big brown envelope with rejection slips. I think I ritually burned them, because it felt like too much bad energy to have around. I take that back about God: what keeps you going on is that you have no choice. You write for your sanity's sake. I'm not quite sure what my excuse is for sticking with the marketing end, except that the prize is glittering, just out of sight, but there's a glow up ahead.

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