This week’s writing has been like a pendulum, but I don’t mean the lazy swinging back-and-forth normally envisioned; more like wind chimes slammed one way, then another by frenzied gusts. One topic, another, back again (over and over) has been the last seven days.
Determined to complete the final re-read of The Returning, I read the last 100 typed pages in 20-30 page chunks, working on the Query Letter and Synopsis in between. When fatigued by those processes, I worked on the first draft of the second book in the proposed trilogy—back and forth with a harried pace determined by free minutes ticking away toward pending obligations. An eventful (writing) week, a good week by most standards, one that left me with a sense of accomplishment, an inner exhilaration at the amount of work completed, and fear.
The novel done (revised numerous times), the Query and 1-page Synopsis completed (each fretted over ad-nauseam), I peer through the haze at the prospect of sending the 3-part package to agents on my list. Although I have spent many hours researching the initial six agents selected to receive my package, with tensed shoulders and a dry-mouth I double and triple-check to make sure the formatting is correct (hoping the email arrives like it should and not a jumble of hieroglyphics as some of the ones I receive), and prepare to hit the send button.
No, Wait! Did I forget something? Is each directed to a “particular” named editor? Did I include the right number of pages of the book (some ask for 5, some 10, some more)? Which editors accept attachments and which do not? There is no taking back the query package once sent—is everything perfect, or is it just okay, which guarantees the indomitable rejection.
Deep sigh. At some point, I have to trust that my due-diligence will pay off. I think of now-famous authors whose books were rejected multiple times (Stephen King’s Carrie dozens of times, J.K. Rowling 12 times, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time was rejected by 26 publishers—more Here) and remind myself that rejection is not the end of my world, writing or otherwise. I believe that, really I do.
Before I hit the button and send my “child” off like a 5-year old to the bus stop on their first day of school, I am going for a walk in the woods, and maybe I can locate my Rhino Skin that I seem to have misplaced.
To me and to you, I say, writing is a courageous endeavor and only the determined persevere to see their name in print. In order for that to become a reality, a writer must send their child into the world. Yes, there will be numbing pain, but there will also be great joy. Believe it.
Now, go hit that button and get to work on that other project that awaits your attention.
Important Note: Once again, the University of Iowa is offering their FREE online “How Writers Write Fiction” course. I participated last year, and will again; I learned a great deal about the processes of writing from fellow students . . . nearly a 1,000 from around the world, as I recall. Here is the invite I received and the link. There is no grading, no requirements; only honest feedback from other writers at various levels of skill. Recommended.
Greetings from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program!
Fall is in the air here in Iowa City, and we are delighted to invite you to join our new MOOC, How Writers Write Fiction 2015! Opening on September 24 and closing on November 24, 2015, this online course offers an interactive progression through the principles and practice of writing fiction. The course is open to everyone in the world, free of charge, and we’re excited to be teaching it on NovoEd, an online platform designed for interactive and creative community learning. Join us!
Learn more and sign up here
This Week’s Writing Quote:
“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.” Rainer Maria Rilke