Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Amen to That!

Writing is hard. Writing for an agent is even harder. Writing for an editor considering your book but wanting a rewrite first is like climbing Everest without a Sherpa in a snowstorm... and you have conjuctivitis and cramps and OfficeDepot has run out of pens... forever.

Sometimes, you succeed and you land a contract and it's awesome and you love everybody and wow, is that my book on the shelf at my favorite bookstore. Many times, too many times, you don't succeed and you have six reams worth of revisions that went nowhere, seven months of your life gone, your confidence mauled like a pillow by a Golden Retriever.

Author Natalie Whipple wrote an incredibly-thoughtful piece about this Great Disappointment over at her blog Between Fact and Fiction. Her essay, What Happens When It Is You" talks about being on submission and the journey she's experienced.

She writes:

Today is a serious day. I'm going to talk about things I've kept off this blog for about 15 months. I'm going to talk about being on submission—more specifically about what it's like to experience all those things writers dread happening.

Because, really, no writer wants to be that person. The one who has to go through hell just to get a book on the shelf. You hope with all your being that your journey won't be too horrible. And you should. Without that hope? I don't know how I'd be where I am, even if it's not entirely where I want to be.

But what happens when it is you? What happens when writers list off "horror stories" about their publishing journey and you realize you've basically been through all of them?

If you want to know, read on. If not, stop here and go eat a cupcake. Actually, everyone should eat a cupcake while reading this. It'll take the edge off.

Now, I told myself that I wouldn't talk about submissions on my blog when I was out. I didn't want editors to know how long I'd been out or if I was struggling. But after 15 months? Heck, I think I've earned a little bit of a right to talk about it. And what does it matter that anyone knows how long I've been out? Does it make me less of a writer? Do I suck because my book hasn't sold?

If you'd like to read more, please pop on over to Natalie's blog. Honest writing about... writing.

Thanks for letting me re-post, Natalie!

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