Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thoughts That Keep Me Going

Whew! I have been an editing fiend this week and need a break! So, I'll share a little thought that has come into my mind today by way of three friend's blogs - t
his one , this one and this one.
Have you ever had a friend say, "You have got to read this book!", only to be disappointed? Have you ever sat through a book club meeting where half the group has loved the book and the other half just didn't get it?
Not everyone will love my work - your work - our work. So, when the inevitable rejections come, remind yourself of that. We are not putting our work out there against an even board of judges to be accepted or denied. Oh, no it is nothing like that and you are setting yourself up for a long, sad road if you let that idea creep into your mind and heart.

Friends, we are on the treasure hunt of our lives. Searching for that agent, that editor, that audience that appreciates our voice and work. It is an exciting adventure - filled with ups and downs. So when you get that rejection don't say to yourself, "I'm less than". Don't even say to yourself, "One step closer" (I personally hate that one!).

I propose you simply say, "I guess I was wrong to think this was a fit for them. Is there something I can do to:

1- make it better for next time (ie edit)

2- do better research to aim my query?"

See? way less painful! What thoughts keep you going?


Windsong said...

*looks up hopefully*

To sleep?

Seriously, I just remind myself that I want to find an agent that's passionate about my work. That would throw themselves (and the story) across an editors desk and not budge until they find a place for it. As much as I want an agent now, I'd rather have one that MUST sell my book rather than one that would LIKE to.

lucent1 said...

I really love that treasure hunt concept...good perspective!

LexiconLuvr said...

I think the thing that keeps me going is that it's the only thing I want to do. I'm a writer. That's it for me. That means that I can't give up on it or I'm giving up on myself. Besides, not everyone likes me as a person, why would they like my book the same way? Yes, I believe in taking a good hard look at what you've written and making sure it's up to scrap but I also believe that some things will never be a good fit for certain people. That's when you just have to say "Am I changing this because it needs to be changed or am I changing it because someone else wants it to be different?"

Lisa said...

Hi Tess,
I saw that you checked out our blog ( and thought I'd hop over and visit yours. Looks like you get some interesting conversations here.

What keeps me going: reading lots of books. This works on two levels. If it's an amazing book (I'm reading The Secret Garden now), then I'm inspired to make my book as good as it can be. If it's a not-so-amazing book, I'm heartened because if THIS can get published, then surely mine can too.

And I've read some wildly popular books with really dismal writing. But their plots and characters are so compelling that the language can just coast along without reaching for beauty. Seeing that makes me hunker down and pound away at my plot.

Cindy said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I just have to keep reminding myself that everyone's tastes are different. You're right, sometimes one thing is just not the right fit for someone. And I guess ultimately, that's a good thing.

Lady Glamis said...

Oh, this is tremendously beautiful! I love it! It's great encouragement, and so true. We should remind ourselves every time we sit down to write that not everybody is going to love it.

Although I have a feeling I'm going to love your work if I ever get to read it. :D

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

I have to agree with Lisa above. Great books inspire me to make my novels better, and knowing they're better than some of what's already out there keeps me submitting.

Another thing that keeps me plugging along, oddly, is a rejection of sorts. I had a novel my agent hated. H A T E D ! Everytime I talked to her about anything, she took the time to tell me how much she hated my other novel. When I finally parted ways with her, and submitted that novel on my own, I got a request for revisions from Clarion on the second submittal.

One person's trash is another person's treasure. We just have to find the right person.

Wendy said...

I love writing. That's all the encouragement I need. If I'm never published again, I'll be at peace. It's words on the page that do it for me. I loved this post. I'm learning to get tougher skin and it has been a plight b/c I am a softie.
~ Wendy

Joyce Wolfley said...

Even NY Times Bestsellers get harsh criticism. I try to remind myself of that every once in a while. Great post. Thanks!

Davin Malasarn said...

This is a great reminder. Thanks! Not only will everyone not like our work, but we probably don't want everyone to like our work! :P

Jill Kemerer said...

I tell myself it's the best book I could write at this point in my life. It helps.

lotusgirl said...

Such a great thing to keep in mind when sending out stuff out there. We're looking for the right fit. I'll just keep repeating that to myself over and over.