Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Four Down & Three to Go


Dear Writer-Reject,
    Sorry for a bit of a delay in getting back to you – what with some business travels, etc. I’ve fallen behind. Much as I wanted to fall in love with your novel – I think the characters are very well drawn and the setting is compelling – I’m afraid I never got to the place I need to be to take on a work of fiction. This is utterly subjective and absolutely not a reflection of your talent which is plentiful. So, I’m afraid I must stand aside knowing you’ll find the passionate representation you deserve.
    I look forward to reading the reviews of [Title] when it comes out. 
Best, Decent Guy of An Agent

     Tomorrow Saturn finally leaves my sun sign, which means the last two years of hell will come to a close. Supposedly, now, I've learned all the big life-lessons I need because I'll be dead and buried by the time that big hot mass of gas comes back around. Here's what I learned: 1) To accept reality and separate it from fantasy, aspiration, and desire, 2) To check my ego at the door, 3) that I'm not in control, 4) That everything I have is a miracle and I should be grateful for everyone in my life, 5) That I am more than what my (suddenly deceased) father thought of me, 6) To trust in myself and listen to my own voice, and to be honest with myself, 7) That if I do not publish this novel, it will not be the end of the world, 8) That life is long and humbling, 9) That whatever the journey, it's worth taking, 10) That I will probably keep writing pretty much no matter what, but that does not guarantee success...unless, of course, that is the definition of success. (Hard to tell.)
     They say Saturn leaves a nice big gift when it departs your sun sign, kind of like a prize for all the grueling work you've had to do.  I'll let you know what it is when it gets here: an iPhone would be nice.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"That I will probably keep writing pretty much no matter what, but that does not guarantee success...unless, of course, that is the definition of success. (Hard to tell.)"

Which is why life is so humbling.

Well done, you writer you.

Linda

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you, I am SO eager to read your novel. I wish I were an agent so you'd sent it to me! I hope one of the big seven comes through.

Meanwhile, thanks for the wise words in point form and hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Pretty soon the entire publishing world is going to implode and all that will be required is a compelling online presense or other word of mouth to pub your e-novel that we will all buy and read on our kindles or nooks or whatever. So hang in because it will be a HUGE announcement when you (1) reveal your identity and (2) announce that your novel is now available. You, more than most, are well-poised to jump into the new publishing paradigm and even thought this may sound yucky and self-publish-y and not respectable-y right now, soon it won't. Soon, it won't. Trust. Believe. Be patient.

Anonymous said...

Having gone through what you're going through multiple times and reached similar conclusions, I have to say there's something to be said for rejection, that as crappy as it is, it can actually make us better people and even, better writers. You are not alone and you've done a huge service to all us other writers who have felt alone. NEVER GIVE UP.

gimme said...

I think 10:34 above is exactly right about where things are headed: the few remaining people who are interested in literary fiction, huddled together on various blogs and websites promoting their e-books.

The good side is that you won't need agents or editors anymore.

The less good side is that no one will make any money or have the slightest cultural impact or relevance. But that's already the case for literary novelists anyway...

And folks like you, W/R, who have an existing "platform" might at least attract something of a "readership." I'd say you're sitting pretty well for this next phase.

Steve said...

That's not the case for literary artists, Gimme? Do you mean "contemporary" artists? Because plenty of dead ones are still shaping society....or at least Oprah's audience.

loo dee doo loo said...

what's the worst that could happen if no agent ever picks up your book? You can put it on lulu and offer free audio snippets to fans. (helps to get someone with a nice reading voice)

and maybe you get (internet) famous doing your own promotion, and then you can woo an agent for your next book. or even better, maybe a publishing house contacts you directly after reading your novel.

just because agents are rejecting it doesn't mean your novel has to hide at the top shelf of your closet. agents don't have quite the monopoly on gatekeeping anymore these days. stay posi+ive!