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Friday, December 12, 2008

A Confession - Not necessarily a "Mom" One


Okay - I've been committing a huge blog No-No. The one in which I'm not being honest with myself and using this venue as a place of solace and comfort, a place where those awesome people I visit (or that visit me) can read and offer encouragement, support, or just a "I know what you mean!"

So what's my confession - well, a couple of people know, so it's not a huge secret - but still...

I recently finished writing something - a supernatural/paranormal love story. There is turmoil and upheaval, the heroine learns about herself and discovers love for the first time. It's that kind of tale.

When I finished, a few people in my life asked if they could read it. I was absolutely petrified of the notion that someone would actually read what I created inside my warped brain, but I caved in, printing it out and passing it along. I was surprised (and stupified) to discover they actually liked it. In fact, they told me I should consider trying to get published. I scoffed at the notion, cause let's face it, I ain't no Stephenie Meyer people! And family and friends are supposed to tell you, "I love what you've done honey, it's so good!" Even if you've written the biggest steaming pile o' shit.

But I decided to tweak the story anyway, work on the manuscript obsessively, and finally had it to a place where I thought, "it's not that bad."

Well, I started researching what it takes to get published, uncovering the terrifying truths about agents, publishing companies, queries, and submissions. I googled, went to Barnes and Noble, visited the library. I have printed out hints, suggestions, and names from Agent Query. Then I tried to find a 'fit' for my story (which is honestly been a terrible experience in and of itself) to narrow down the people I would eventually query for potential representation.

It has been a nightmare, but even worse, was attempting to write a decent query. Seriously, I have visited blogs, websites, and have read how-to books and I'm still confused. One place says - DO NOT do A, B, or C. The next says - DEFINITELY do A, B, and C. I fought with myself, taking over two weeks, and sloshed through, producing a terrible rendition of one. Then I had the pleasure of explaining in 5 pages what takes place in 96,000 words of text (that's roughly 400 pages of book people) in a synopsis to accompany said query.

But the worst was yet to come - I just didn't know it yet. I thought after I had the query and synopsis, the names and the emails, I would simply mail out my stuff and hope for the best. What I didn't expect what the terrible pressure inside my stomach that has caused me to hug the toilet for several days now, caused by the mere action of pressing "send" on each individual email. Because let me tell you, each punch of the enter key was like ripping my heart out of my chest and throwing it on the ground in front of a steam roller.

Am I afraid of rejection? Sure I am. But strangely, it's slightly more than that. What started out as a hobby (okay, a monumental stress relief, which has become an addiction - I've finished off another story already, which is completely different) is now making me sick. It's strange because, well, I enjoyed writing the book and the concept of keeping it 'hidden'. Hell, my husband hasn't even read the stuff!

The bad news is - I've gotten rejections already. The good news is - it's completely normal and to be expected. But the good/bad news is = one publisher in particular has requested the full manuscript, and since that day, I've been a walking diarhhea bag of nerves. Jesus. Baring myself in front of the entire O/B department to give birth was less painful. I want to check my email to see if I've gotten a response, but I don't want to check it. I want to continue writing, but I don't want to continue writing. I'm a mixed bag of grapenuts, and I'm equal parts crunchy and soggy. It's completely nerve wracking.

And let me just say - kudos to ALL of you writer's out there who continue to press onward, even in the face of certain rejection and confusion. I know I can't be alone in this necessary step toward acheiving representation.

Wow - I strangely feel better now. Just getting that off my chest...no wait, there's the nausea again. Oh well.

6 comments:

Kristin said...

I totally have to hand it to you to make it this far. I started writing my book on nutrition when Logan was Carter's age. I never got far because of the fear of rejection. I actually couldn't even finish the book, it terrified me so much. Maybe someday I'll get over it.

But way to go. I can't wait to read more about your success!

Lawfrog said...

It's always scary to submit your personal thoughts on paper to someone else, knowing you might face rejection. BUT...it is brave, courageous and necessary. Feel the fear and do it anyway! And remember that many famous authors were rejected before finally landing on the desk of a smart publisher:

J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame was rejected 12 times before her first Harry Potter book was accepted by a publishing agent.

Chicken Soup for the Soul writers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen were turned down 33 times. They now have a best-selling empire with the Chicken Soup series.

Stephen King received 30 rejections for Carrie.

Gone with the Wind was rejected by 38 publishers.

And of course, Stephanie Meyer was ignored or rejected by 15 publishers before being offered a book deal.

SO...you keep plugging away and know that rejection is part of the journey and will make a wonderful story to inspire others when you are signing your book on your national book tour (I'll be in line with multiple copies!!)

:)

Lawfrog said...

P.S. - Meant to put this in my original comment, but didn't because I am scatter brained - I am SO SO excited for you that a publisher has requested the full manuscript. That is wonderful news and no matter what happens, you should take it as a sign that you truly are a good writer.

Jaime said...

Thanks you two ;) I do feel better posting that entry.

I'll let you know what happens - if it happens LOL!

raecatherine said...

Hooray for you and your bravery! It takes an awful lot to invite criticism, but you've already taken the most difficult step.

Hope you feel better about this soon, and the butterflies dissapate

Nikoa said...

Hi there, I also wanted to let you know that you should look into Amazon's on demand printing. That sort of helps leave you in charge of letting people know about the book and then it can be printed as you need or they request! Might take the pressure off a little!! :) Good luck!