Monday, May 2, 2016

Updates and such...

My husband frequently reminds me that I take forever to tell a story and get to the point so I’ll get to the point of this post before I elaborate…

  1. Sorry I’ve been MIA from everything online.
  2. Publishing is hard. And discouraging. And makes me kinda sad.
  3. Fortunately, the rest of my life is pretty awesome. So, there’s that. 

So.

Cue elaboration.

The writing life’s been a spectacular suckfest lately and, when that’s the case, I tend to hibernate offline, shy away from most forms of social media. It’s a petty, selfish, bad friend thing, but it’s also… healthier for my state of mind. So, I’m sorry. Sorry I’ve not been around much to read good news or send positive vibes. I know some of you have told me that you miss me and well, I miss all of you too.

Writing a full-length novel can make you feel like the biggest success and the biggest failure, sometimes simultaneously. You write a story. You revise it a couple hundred times until you might feel like it’s good enough for someone else to read and critique. You revise again. And again. Send it out some more. Revise it a couple more quadrillion times. You feel like you have something that you’re really proud of. It makes you laugh and cry—every time you read it. Your CPs love it. Some even say “This is the one!” 

Then you send it out. 

And despite the requests and the nice rejections, no one in the publishing industry seems to want it. 

I’ve been through this awesome process several times. I’ve written probably the equivalent of ten manuscripts, probably am zeroing on the proverbial millionth word. Since my second manuscript I’ve sent out into the publishing world, I’ve won my way into first page contests, the Writer’s Voice (twice), Xmas in July, and Pitch Wars. I’ve had R&Rs. A lot of full and partial requests on various manuscripts. Close calls.

But never close enough.

These days, I’ll get a full request and barely get excited about it. The rejections sting a little less, possibly because I’m jaded to the whole thing now.

The hope has waned. Because I’m still over here. Twiddling my thumbs. Agentless.

And writing these days, man. It’s hard. I have a really horrible case of What’s The Point Syndrome. Some days I can power through it and immerse myself in my story. Most days, I’m overpowered by thoughts of “What’s the Point? No one’s ever going to want this.” or I question every word choice and sentence, afraid I’m going to offend someone or a reference is too old school or the story is just plain stupid. 

I spend a lot of days wondering if it will ever be my turn. If I’ll ever get the call. And despite trying to channel all that out, the thought of never being traditionally published makes it ridiculously difficult to write. 

I’ve tried taking a break, going to a writing retreat, taking another break, working on something else, taking an online class. They work for a little while, but eventually I return to the same place, mired with plaguing doubts and “what’s the point” thoughts. 

Worse—I feel like I’ve lost whatever writing mojo I may have had.

(Ironically the story I’m trying to revise is titled BELIEVE. Ha.)

I know there are plenty of people who’ve been through this. Lincoln failed countless number of times at his bid for President and he finally broke through (and then was assassinated, but I digress). JK Rowling was rejected fifty gazillion times before someone picked her up. I have a number of friends who’ve finally, finally broken through the publishing wall and have books coming out within the next two years so yes, I know, I know, I know. Persist. Don’t give up. It will be your turn soon!

But do we really know that? What about all those people who spend lifetimes pursuing their dreams and never achieving them to the level of success they set out to? Am I going to be that person? And then part of me wonders, maybe I think I’m a better writer than I actually am. Maybe I’m like one of those people on American Idol who thinks they can sing but ohmygosh they so can’t. 

I know the road for everyone is different. It still doesn’t stop the thoughts and feelings that it’s never ever ever going to happen for me.

I’m sure wannabe mothers understand this. Some people seem to have the easiest time getting pregnant. Some people try for years before they can have a baby. Other people try their whole lives and are never successful. I remember trying for at least a year with both my children and when I wasn't thinking about it, that’s when it happened.

And I know that’s probably the case here… when I least expect it, I’ll get that call or whatever. The problem is I’m always thinking about it. Working on “something else” makes me think abut it. And this waiting?

Absopositively sucks.

Writing-wise I’m just in a really sad, discouraged, bitter place right now. And idk if it will get better anytime soon.

Anyhoo. 

So, I’ve been doing other things that DO make me happy. I’ve actually been watching television (I know, shocked me too)— The Walking Dead, Amazing Race, and I’ve fallen in love with Survivor all over again. I’ve probably seen Star Wars one too many times (never!) and Parks and Rec and, of course, soccer. I’ve been working on the tan. Tutoring. And reading a LOT of good books.

And while the writing life is kind of crappy, the rest of my world is doing pretty fine. I’ve been spending as much time as possible with the people who mean everything to me (aka my family) We’ve had a lot of game and movie nights and focused family time. I’ve been to see some great musicals with my daughter. I had an awesome getaway with the hubs to Asheville in March and then returned to that area with the family over spring break for spelunking and hiking and college visits (oy). My son’s made principal’s list three straight nine weeks, the husband’s girls soccer team is doing really well, and my daughter’s killing it in school. She just got named a Quest Bridge College Prep Scholar, a National Merit Scholar nominee (which means she’s guaranteed a commendation), and she scored crazy high on her ACT too. 

So, if me not ever getting an agent means my husband’s girls finally go to State Championship or my son continues to do well in school and my daughter ends up being a National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist, then bring it. I’d be VERY okay with not ever having an agent if those things were to happen. 

But still.

Anyway. I don’t tell you all this for your pity or advice or whatever. This is just where I’ve been and why and I’m sorry I’ve not been around to know what’s going on in your lives. I can’t promise I’ll come out of my hermit status anytime soon, but I hope you’re doing well and things are going much better in your writing world. 

15 comments:

  1. Big big hugs, Alison. I feel you. I have been working on the same book for 3-4 years now- it had an agent, went to editors, and now I'm trying to find it a new agent home. It's been HARD. I did a lot of wondering "do I even bother? what's the point?" It's nice to get so close but yet...GAHHHH NOT CLOSE ENOUGH. It's also great to know that writing isn't just everything to us -- we have other facets of our lives-- writing, reading, TV watching, musicals, kids, family, etc. <3

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    1. All very true. And I'm sorry you've been in a similar boat. Good luck with your agenting quest and thank you so much for all your encouraging words!

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  2. Alison, I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. This is the shitty part of writing for publication. I don't really have words of advice or anything that can help, just -- do what is right for you and makes you feel good. Which it seems you are :) And I'm glad you're having such a good family time!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! I am. Writing and enjoying the family. Hope things are going well for you!

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  3. As someone who has read one of your stories, I'm surprised it hasn't been snatched up yet. I know that might feel like just words, especially when you're discouraged. I really, really hope you get that call soon. I know how hard you've worked at this! I haven't been at the whole writing to get published thing, and I certainly haven't been working toward that end lately, but I can relate to the crippling doubt aspect of what you're going through. When I was writing regularly and even semi-regularly, I often had that cloud of "What's the point?" hovering over my head, often keeping me from finishing what I'd started or even putting in all that much effort. So yeah. I hear ya.

    All I can say is that I hope that cloud lifts, that an agent falls in love with your stories, and that your non-writing life continues to be awesome. <3

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    1. Jaime, you are super sweet and so encouraging and thank you for all your kind words. I'm trying to push through and comments like this definitely helps make the writing worth it. Thank you!

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  4. Alison, I wish you and I could sit down and talk over a couple of beers, because everything you said here resonates with me so much. I haven't been through the query process as many times as you (yet?) since I'm kind of late to the trying-to-get-published game, but I still relate to that "what's the point?" feeling. It's been a year since I've drafted anything new, and while I've been half-heartedly poking away at plotting new WIPs, I'm mired in those doubts too. It's all just so draining.

    Everything you said about spending time with your family rings true to me. You know the question: Are you living your best life? I often wonder if devoting so much time to writing is actually taking away from living my best life, because it means sacrificing time with my boys and not doing other amazing things. And I question whether it's healthy to keep putting myself through this process. It makes it very tempting to walk away from writing at times, but yet I know I'd miss it and be haunted by that "what if?" feeling.

    Anyway, there's plenty more I could say about how I relate, but for now I want to encourage you, because your determination is inspiring, as is your devotion to your family. You know I love the WIP I beta read for you, and I think you're so talented and funny, and honestly I'm still in awe of how you wove together the POVs in that book so seamlessly. I'll also always appreciate the things I learned from you when you beta read for me. Your advice really helped shape my writing. I'm so sorry you're feeling discouraged, because you deserve to be published, especially after all the hard work you've put in. I really hope you get all the great things you want for your family and for your publishing aspirations as well. Hang in there, and if you ever want to vent or need a word of encouragement or some accountability, give me a shout.

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    1. We should not live so far away from each other! And I know you can relate and I'm sorry someone has not discovered your beautiful story (and you) yet. Sending you an email to further this conversation, but wanted to say thank you here too. Hang in there!

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  6. Ugh! I accidentally erased that. I wrote a ton...so I'll sum up. :)
    I've been stuck on the MS for years, editing and rewriting, getting agents, almost super fantastic hits on subs, only to have it shot down in a deathly plummet. And now, it feels dead. And so MUCH time was wasted. I feel guilty, frustrated and wonder if I'm being a fool.

    But I keep returning to the keyboard. Even if a complete MS isn't forming yet, new plot bunnies jump up even when I wish they wouldn't. I think the truth is that writing isn't easy...it's insanely impossible. And the only reason anyone really keeps with it is because it's a passion. Of course, it'd be nice to get published (super,super,pretty, please), but that can't be the only reason for writing. It has to be fun in itself. At least, that's the only thing that keeps me going.

    Hang in there!

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    1. I actually got both of your comments and man, I am a) so sorry for all that you've had to experience and b) in awe of your determination. And I'm still here and writing - just frustrated and discouraged. But I'm not going anywhere. I love the not-publishing side of writing too much to give up, but trying to revise for publication when you have NO CLUE if you're doing anything right...that sucks all the joy out of it. Anyway, hang in there, thank you for your encouraging words, and good luck to you!

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  7. *hugs* Your post speaks so much truth. The writing/waiting game can be frustrating and discouraging. I've missed seeing you online, so even if you are taking a break from writing, pop in and say hi sometimes :)

    And no matter what, remember that you are awesome <3

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and hugs, friend. :) And I'm here and there and still writing. Just frustrated. ANYWAY, hope things are going well on your end! And thank you!

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  8. شركة القائد من الشركات الاوله فى الدمام والرياض
    شركة القائد
    حيث تمتلك شركتنا عمالة فنية ومدربة جيدا على الاهتمام بتنظيف الشقق والفلل والمنازل كما تهتم بأدق التفاصيل للوصول الى الصورة المثالية التى يبحث عنها العميل فهدفنا الرئيسى هو ان نوفر لعملائنا الاعزاء الراحة النفسية كما تمتلك شركتنا
    افضل المعدات الحديثة وادوات النظافة العامة المطابقة للمواصفات لنصبح افضل شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض كما نكون حريصين على استخدام افضل الخامات والمواد التنظيف التى تجعل منaزلك نظيفا وجميلا والتى تمت تجربتها ومطابقتها للمواصفات اكثر من مرة للوصول الى الهدف المنشود .
    شركة تنظبف منازل بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجازان
    شركة تسليك مجارى بجازان

    شركة تنظيف بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف بجازان
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بجازان


    شركة مكافحة حشرات بجازان
    تعتبر شركه القائد من افضل الشركات فى تنظيف الخزانات بجازان فنحن نقوم بتقديم الخدمات المميزه التى تتحدث بالجوده والتميز دائما وتعمل الشركه جاهده على توفير المال والجهد للعميل فتقدم له افضل الخدمات فىتنظيف الخزانات والتى نؤديها بمهاره عاليه ودقه جيده ترى نتائجها من التعامل الاول مع الشركه فاذا كنت تشتكى من تسريب الخزان او كسره فان شركتنا عندها خبره وافيه فى هذا المجال ولها القدره على تنظيفه وتصليحه والتخلص من الروائح الكريهه والتخلص من مسببات التلوث الموجوده به وجعله كانه يبدو كالجديد تماما.
    شركة تنظيف بجازان
    نحن افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام نحن نمتلك الخبرة الكبيرة جدا فى الرش ولدينا احدث الاجهزة الموجودة فى الاحساء والجبيل والخبر والقطيف والدمام نحن افضل شركة رش مبيد بالدمام نحن نعمل على مدار 24 ساعة يومين ولا نمل من الرش او المكافحة .رش المبيدات يحتاج الى شركة كبيرة جدا فى الرش ولديها خبرة كبيرة جدا نحن لدينا خبرة كبيرة جدة ولدينا اجهزة حديثه جدا فى الرش
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة القائد من الشركات الاوله فى مجال تسليك المجارى بالرياض شركة القائد هى الشركة التى تعمل على تسليك المجارى باحدث الاجهزة الحديثة المتعدده فى مجال التسليك بالرياض نحن فى شركة القائد نعمل على تسليك المجارى بالرياض من قبل الاجهزة الالكترونية والعمال الذين يبدعون فى مجال التسليك المجارى بالرياض.
    شركة تنظيف بجدة
    شركة نقل اثاث بجازان

    شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض
    اتصل بنا الان على افضل شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض نحن الافضل فى الرياض

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  9. you know... no matter how good and strong the relationship in your marriage is, you always need a marriage counselor. i never knew that and that's why my husband and i was always fighting when i don't even know where the problem was coming from. we are deeply inlove but when we fight, you won't believe we would ever be husband and wife. it's has been like that ever since and i was kinda getting use to it and anytime we are having quarrel i thought it is a minor thing that we can always solve it out but the last one we had, almost lead my marriage to divorce if not for the help of goddess sunlight who saved it. the marriage was already on the falling point by then it was like someone in a burning building...she tried to escape but the door was smashed and the window burning heavily escape was far from her she looked around and plug the tv and started watching hoping to die without any hope o getting out of it... just like in such frustration. i really want to thank goddess sunlight for her great restoration because if i'd get burnt by then my husband won't look at me but now, he'd prefer to be set ablaze just for me to live and i love him that much and i prayed that this love jai mata sunlight brought to home should never end because now i am enjoying the real love from my husband. sunlight is a queen mother of love with full understanding. if you want to get your love ones back contact her if you need counseling in your marriage contact her via sunlightmata@gmail.com and i assure you your broken heart shall be restored back

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