Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rejection is like public speaking…sort of

Bear with me here- there’s a connection between these two topics-or rather my reaction to them.

My oh so glamorous day job used to involve outreach to current and future students (I’m a college counselor). Budget cuts ended that, but when I first started it was extremely stressful. You’re thrown up in front of a few hundred parents and students talking about financial aid. The students are tuned out and the parents are panicked and /or hostile. Like probably the vast majority of you out there- I’d get stressed before a workshop. Public speaking is on many folks’ short list of things that cause terror.

Then one day I had an epiphany- I was more stressed because OTHERS thought I should be stressed. My perception of what I was doing was negatively modified by the reactions of others. Once this idea popped up, I was no longer afraid or stressed by speaking. I realized I was fine with it. In fact (looks around furtively) I even liked it!

Today I had another epiphany. My reaction to rejections is massively influenced by how people around me react or how I THINK they’ll react. It doesn’t help that most non-writers usually really don’t understand the process. Some of my non-writer friends totally get how psychotic this industry is. Others think you write a book in a few weeks then get rich (and can’t really figure out why I haven’t done either ;)). So when I tell them that I got rejected, they look at me (at least in my mind) like a huge loser. Even other writers can cause this internal reaction. But today I asked myself how did I really feel (I got a form rejection from an agent I was interested in). My gut fell about two feet when I saw the email, then another foot when I read the email. Then...I was fine.

It sucks, don’t get me wrong. This was an agent I was very interested in- but let’s face it none of the agents on my list are ones I don’t think I could work with or they wouldn’t be on my list. I still have more agents. I still have more books. I am already planning ANOTHER book to add to the collection. I am a writer- rejection sucks, but if I’m honest to myself- and NOT thinking about what others will say, do, or think about it- I’m fine.

Seriously, don’t even need chocolate to recover fine. It’s part of the business, and if I want to play with the big kids I need to deal with it. So what about you? Are your reactions to events around you really YOURS or someone elses?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lisa Shearin book release TOMORROW!

Hey folks- a really wonderful lady and amazing novelist Lisa Shearin has the next book of her fantasy series coming out TOMORROW! Telling you now so ya all can make plans to buy it this week :).

GO GET IT!! (TOMORROW ;)). If you haven't read these yet- get all of them!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The battle begins...

Technically, the battle began with the previous post when I launched my four unprotected little query missives into the great big world. However, there has been a re-evaluation so it's two steps forward, one step back-LOL.

I decided to take a query class just to tighten up this query. Two of my other books actually have a query that has run through an agent for a critique (due to some cool contest/webinars last year. sadly, the book I am launching forst has not. So I decided to give it something...so far the class hasn't been very productive, but I still have hopes. That does mean no more "launches" since March 1. Updating: one reject (form- OUCH!) and one assumed reject (a "non-respond" agent who is very fast with positive responses). So two are still out there, and more will be flung into space when this class is over.

Now on my to current annoyance-LOL.

Agents who just check off they rep certain genres (this happens on both Query Tracker as well as Publisher's Marketplace) who show NO real sign they rep them.

I've got a good sized list that I've winnowed out over on Query Tracker, but since I've paid to join Publisher's Marketplace I figure I best us it ;). On both sites I keep coming across these agents who checked off F/SF yet they have no clients in the genre. Worse, sometimes you go to their actual website and they don't even mention an agent in that agency who takes that genre!

Now, I understand, some agents have the mindset that while they may not be huge fans of a genre, they are still open to something amazing that just sweeps them away. But come on, especially with something so specific like Fantasy/SF? You really think if you don't read it you might LOVE one out of the blue? And even know who to sell it too? Hmmmm...no.

I do wish that agents would be more specific when they check their little boxes on things like Pub Market- would make life better for both of us ;). (I can't think it's fun having a bunch of useless queries. )

Anyone else out there have an opnion?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!

I told myself I would be back in the submitting gambit by March 1- and being as it is currently 8:30pm and I have sent off four shiny new queries- I have made my goal!

And OMG- those were the hardest four emails I have ever sent! LOL!!! In Psychology it’s called a feeling of absolute (ok, that’s not what it’s called- I remember concepts better than names, bear with me ;))- the feeling that if something goes wrong it means EVERYTHING is wrong. For an example just look to any teenager who is sure the world is ending at least 15 times a day. Well, I’d argue that same fear hits writers too.

I have a list of agents over on Query Tracker. ALL of which are ones I believe would be a good fit for my body of work. There are over 50. And yet, each one of the four I sent off tonight left me with a feeling of, “OMG- what if they reject me tomorrow? I’m DOOMED!!”

Never mind the whole slew of qualified folks still sitting on my list. Including some of the heavy hitters who I didn’t send to tonight due to still being unhappy with my synopsis.

Noooooooooo- those other folks don’t matter, just those four ventures into the scary publishing zone. Hands got sweaty, brow crinkled, a nervous tick grew in my left eye. Each “send” caused another series of heart palpitations.

And I loved it. (Work with me folks- I also loved jumping out of a plane years ago ;)).

That rush of terror just reminded me that I am in the game. I am back submitting and sending my little darlings forth to do battle armed with nothing but my words. And if these agents aren’t interested, then another flight of queries will launch. And another. And another. I have four series that are looking for some love- and after last year’s writing time, I know I can write more besides.

So raise your swords and once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!