Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It’s not a word.
But it’s also not untrue (see what I did there?).
As I type this, I’m six months into my quest to find a literary agent. This is an incredibly lonely process, mainly because I don’t stalk agents, or read their blogs, or go to writer conventions, or follow anyone on Twitter. Self-inflicted wounds, I suppose. But that’s just not me, and while I’ve hand-cuffed myself because of it, I’ve always believed in believing to be…well…just me.
As an insurance professional, I live and die by my efficiency and responsiveness. If you can get your deal in front of the client quickly, you have a good shot at winning. This is not universally true, given all the variables involved with what I do. But I work with many who give me priority when I’m that fast on the draw. They appreciate that side of my professionalism, and sometimes I’m rewarded for all that hard work.
To say response time from agents moves at a glacial pace would be an insult to glaciers. I’ve sent out 22 queries so far. Got formal rejections on 4.
Months and months of it.
And that’s par for the course for this industry! It’s shocking, revealing, aggravating, and a sobering lesson for a neophyte like me.
I simply have very little clue about the industry.
But I’ve already mentioned my predilection to not follow some of today’s formula for success. It’s just not me.
“Well, if you want it bad enough, you’ll do whatever it takes.”
Am I lazy? Maybe.
Am I afraid? Maybe.
So what am I going to do about it?
Glad you asked!
I don’t know.
Some of it is networking. I’m already involved in a writing Facebook group. And I just signed up for a critique group. Oh, and this unblogging thing of mine. Twitter? I have a handle on there, but I rarely tweet.
And let’s face it. My query letter might stink. My novel’s premise might not fall under the “hot topics” of today’s literary world. The story may not be marketable. The agents are rejecting me because what I’ve penned isn’t what they need.
Is that bad?
But if I wanted to write something that is the new hotness of today, then I wouldn’t be true to myself as a writer. I wrote a novel based on my imagination that has nothing to do with why so-and-so’s novel got a film adaptation, or this woman’s angst-ridden love poem was made into a television series and now she’s a zillionaire.
I’m not in it to be famous.
I didn’t write Bloodlines so Zach Snyder could ruin it, either.
(Although it would make an awesome Netflix series. Just sayin’…)
But what do I really want out of this?
That’s the horcrux of it all, right? Subdividing my goals into pieces, and stashing them away so only J.K. Rowling can find them.
I have no delusions. This will not be my career. I’m not trying to make enough to support my family. I’m not even interested in making much from the endeavor, quite frankly.
(Don’t get me wrong. If any and all of that happens, I’d be thrilled!)
What I am after is the realization of one continuous dream.
To put one word in front of the other, and see where the journey leads.
To see that novel published, sitting on the bookshelf at Barnes & Ripoff?
Or available on the intra-webs and the Googlies and other websites with names I can’t remember.
One of my best friends reminds me every so often that finishing a novel IS the accomplishment. Savor it. Enjoy it. Revel in the fact that I did it.
And he’s right.
As for the rest of that dream?
After all, how many can say they’ve written a novel? How many people do you know that have started something and never finished it? They get stuck, they run out of time, they get distracted, crash into unavoidable obstacles that cannot be overcome. Divorce, death, marriage, kids, sports, work, video games, responsibilities, bills, taxes, politics, religion, birthday party-cheesecake-jelly bean-boom, any and all of it that mires one down into the bog, never to escape.
Lots and lots.
Once in a while I get it into my head to unblog. To jot things down here and let the three people (or is it four now?) who follow this site read a lot of nothing, if only to give them a small measure of entertainment before they head out to face their own days.
It’s a catharsis, of course. Because who wants to continually get rejected about anything?
The easiest way to overcome that rejection?
Just keep writing, Dory.
Just keep writing.