Thursday, April 21, 2011

Deep Into the Troughs of Despair I Sink

I've been riding the crest of triumph from my full MS request from the Angry Robots for...going on two months now.  Then today, the 'high' wore off.  Just like that.  I didn't get a rejection from the Angry Robots (yet), but I did get 4 query rejections this week.  I get on the Writers of the Future page and see they've posted the 1st quarter finalists/semi-finalists.  Of course, I'm not one of them, and I didn't even get a rejection letter (later I realized I'd entered for the 2nd quarter, but the emotional damage had been done).  Then I was talking to the assistant dean today and she told me that one of the student employees (who also writes fantasy) just signed a 3-book deal with a major publishing house, and her only pearls of wisdom on how to get published consisted of, "It's got nothing to do with talent.  It's all about who you know." 
Great.  I know no one.

All the air went right out of me .  Back into the dark and slimy pit of self-loathing I go, chanting endless mantras of "I'll never get this piece of $%#! published, I'm a talentless hack," blah, blah blah.  You know what I'm talking about.

I know I shouldn't let it get to me.  I know plenty of people get published regardless of who they know.  But I also know that I've read awful, awful books with writing so abyssmal and plots so hacky and cliche that I suspect the people who wrote them don't even know how to read.  Which makes me think, is that why these hideous literary abortions make it into the bookstores?  Because the 'authors' know the right people? 

Even if I knew these unearthly beings with the power to make my book spew forth from a printing press like flyers dropped from an airplane, I'm no schmoozer.  I'm a socially awkward and sarcastic troglodyte.  I like my cozy little virtual world of emails and texting, where I don't have to touch anyone or think of anything clever to say on the spur of the moment. 

My book is good.  I know it's good.  Except, you know, I think it sucks.  Today, I hate it and the space it's taking up on my hard drive.  Maybe I'll get a partial request tomorrow and I'll love it again, but right now depression has me by the throat and I lack the gumption to pry its cold, pointy fingers from my windpipe.

Le sigh...


  1. Wow, that's a lot to get hammered with all at once! But at least there's still a chance Angry Robot will pick up your book! I'm still waiting to hear (I didn't get mine in until the end of March, so I'll probably be waiting for quite a while). I've never been asked for more than the first few chapters.

  2. Hang in there! You will get published. I had many a day like that before I was signed by Charles River Press. My blog is littered with some I suck posts. I think all authors, even pubbed ones, have days like this. The fact that AR asked for a full says something.

  3. This post PERFECTLY sums up how I feel today as well! My dream agent has had my full since February 11th, and I haven't heard a peep from her yet. In the meantime, I've received 12 standard rejections in a row, and I'm afraid the urban fantasy train may have left the station without me.

    I have CONVINCED myself she never received my full (without any reason for thinking this), and now I have decided that I've wasted three years of my life and writing is a stupid dream anyway.

    Shall we toast to down days??

  4. Beckah, I know how you feel. Some days, I feel like I'm going to take over the world, sometimes I don't even want to look at words, let alone write them. I haven't had a single request, but my six sentence sunday posts (which i TOTALLY recommend you do because it's awesome and fun) get a lot of positive feedback. If any of those people were agents, I'd be golden. But they aren't.

    Keep your chin up, drink some wine, and head on into the next day, love. Your story is AWESOME and you'll find a home for it. I have total faith in you & your work.

  5. Thank you, everyone. Sometimes it helps to know I'm not in the boat alone. :)

  6. Hi Beckah!
    Three wise words for you: Hang. In.There.
    We all have days when we feel like giving up, like deleting the whole damn thing out of our HD and moving on. It's human and normal. Give it a rest, go do anything else you enjoy doing and let everything else simmer for a while. You know you're good and you have talent. If this book don't go forward, write another one, and keep going. It's all about enjoying your journey! :)
    Have a nice weekend!
    - EEV

  7. Chin up, lovely. I think the trick with this publishing malarkey is to keep going through the tough times.

    Good luck with Angry Robot!


  8. "It's got nothing to do with talent. It's all about who you know."

    Yeah, that's bullshit. "Knowing" someone won't help you sell books to tens of thousands of people who have never heard of that oh-so-special someone, and the publishing industry knows it.

    If your book is good, it will find a home. That might take a few more years than you want it to, but it will happen. "Knowing" someone could give you an extra shot, but you still have to make the slam dunk on the basis of your own talents.

    Also, those dreadful books you've read were probably second novels. The author got their contract based on a book they didn't have to rush out, then blew it when they had to function under a deadline. It's nothing to be jealous over; it's something to feel empathy for.


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