Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

I’ve been thinking about the end of the year and where I am as a writer right now.

This year has seen some wonderful friends sell great books, first releases, upcoming releases, agent contracts. I did some submitting, but not very much. Got a few nibbles, but in the end the project wasn’t write for this time.

So I does all that make me feel? If I am totally and completely honest about 10% frustrated and 90% ecstatic for my friends who burst through that plateau this year.

The frustration is natural, I was hoping to have submitted a lot more by this time and found my perfect agent. But various things happened and I didn’t get many submissions out for a plethora of reasons which I won’t go into now. But if ya don’t submit, ya ain’t going nowhere.

I did some good things this year though, some craft building things, re- wrote some projects, did more editing of others. And I have the bones of a new book thanks to NaNo- one I’m excited about diving into next year.

But still, a wee bit of frustration that I haven’t hit that point, that right story+ right author+ right agent/editor spot-yet.

And, also if I’m honest, part of my frustration is at how others see me. Those looks of, “Oh really, you write…how…cute.” Until there is a contract, or even better, a book in print, there will be folks reacting that way. Even when they don’t, there’s still that feeling that they are thinking it.

But I write because I have to. I’m not writing for accolades, or status, I’m writing because I love to create worlds, and people. Sometimes though, just sometimes, it’s easy to forget that ;). And it’s something I really should NEVER forget. My love of writing is all I have to protect me from the slings and arrows of rejection.

As for my friends who went to that next level – who got those contracts- they give me hope. When you see REAL people around you making it, actual friends that I can I say “I knew them when”, it makes the whole process real.

Plus- this way they get to go through it all, and when I’m there I can be running to them for words of wisdom.


  1. What a great, thoughtful blog post, Marie. As you know, I've been right there with you on the frustration level. Even when you KNOW you're writing because you love it, the "getting published" part feels like banging your head against an iron door sometimes. But everytime I thought about giving up on my publishing dream, I considered what quitting would feel like. And let me tell you, it would've felt awful.

    I agree with you that we have to keep learning our craft, and keep pushing forward, and just keep at it, no matter what. Even when well-meaning friends and family ask (as they always do), "So...are you published yet?" Ugh. That was the worst question for me.

    Cheers, my friend. Your writer friends are right here rooting for your success and are happy to help and cheer you on every step of the way! Hugs, Melissa

  2. You had my eyes tearing up, I have to admit. Because oh, oh, oh, do your writerly friends feel those same frustrations. Someone told me today that I talk too much about books and writing and the publishing industry. I told him where to go :) But this is exactly why I love RWA and especially RWASD because you guys GET IT!!!

    I think it's amazing what you've accomplished this year. NaNo alone deserves a Purple Heart, lol. Anyone who has met you knows that writing is much more to you than just a hobby. When you get published, I'll be cheering, and not because it validates you as a writer (you're already there in my book), but because it's a well-deserved reward for the work you put into improving your craft. And it means I get your autographed book in my hands!

  3. I totally second everything Angela said. Marie, you're amazing! Keep plugging away and you'll get there.

  4. I feel your frustration. You have worked so hard and done so much, and feel like you're not getting anywhere. But I think you ARE getting places. You have accomplished so much - won Nano, gotten requests from agents and editors, put so much work into learning and improving your craft. Celebrate your victories! You WILL get published and I'll be there cheering along with all your other friends and supporters.

    One thing that helps me is to think of things this way: I can't control the outcome, but I can control my efforts. All I can do is put forth my best efforts - send out submissions, improve my writing, take advantage of opportunities that come up. The outcome is out of my hands - it is in other people's and the Universe's. When I think of things that way I feel a bit less burdened by the responsibility to make everything I want work out NOW. I know it will happen when and the way it is supposed to. So like Melissa said, keep working and it will happen for you!

  5. WOW!! You three ladies ROCK! I can't comment on comments during the day due to my day job, so coming back to these...? I need to add a reflection- I have made and built some amazing writing friends. Melissa, Angela, and Janet- you three are wonderful, kind, and wise ladies.

    Thank you so much for the comments and your friendship- dang I think I need to send a thank you letter to the RWA ;).

  6. Trust me, babe, the feeling's mutual *hug*