Monday, March 8, 2010

Sense of Direction

I got lost [again] the other day. Usually I have a keen sense of direction and once I've been some place, I can find it again. I was so tired and there is so much going on [that you don't know about] that I became really, really, really frustrated and almost cried.

What I do is own the moment; acknowledge how I feel, accept it and my humanity, and move on. RosettaStone is an excellent program, but sometimes it is simply frustrating. It moves at lightning pace and did I mention that I'm dyslexic? However, the motivator is my new job requires that I become fluent in Spanish.

For those of you facing query letters with a profound dread, I can tell you that rejections get old. As much as anyone says that it isn't personal, there are days that it feels otherwise. At first, I followed sample queries of two renowned experts in the industry. They didn't work. Or I didn't do them correctly. Some agents list on their websites or blogs what flips their cookies when it comes to queries.

Let me say my theory is if they had a fuss with their spouse that morning, it is likely no query letter will be good enough that day. Surprise! They are human and most of this industry is subjective.

I had three returned SASE come at once (this is pre-query by email). I left them sit on my desk for the better part of a week. I knew what they were, either a "not for me" scribbled on my query or a form rejection. I simply wasn't in the mood. But one of them was a request to read my full ms with the promise to respond in six weeks! I lugged that ton of paper to the Post Office and sent it off.

I marked off the minutes until six weeks came and went. What did it mean that the deadline had passed with no contact. It was confusing and a bit discouraging. Eventually, the phone rang and the agent was calling to offer a contract. The delay was because he liked it and wanted to have a couple of the women in the office read it since it was women's lit.

One thing my mother used to say during tough times was it is always darkest before the dawn. There can be dark mornings in this industry. It is the litmus test to your perseverance. Now that we all have computers everyone is writing a novel - yes, everyone. The ones who get published - through one means or another - are the writers who chase it with the drive of an eight-year-old chasing an ice cream truck.


  1. There are dark mornings in all industries. I work in the pharmaceutical industry and have been having a number of dark mornings lately but I believe that there is something better over the horizon.

  2. I am so glad you got a light at the end of your dark tunnel, Nadine.
    It is a tough world for writers out there, I am just taking my time. I am not looking forward to my query letter/synopsis time, but I will do it, nothing will stop me trying for an icecream! LOL

  3. Hello Ladies! Just arrived home from my first day at my new job. I'm bushed, but it is wonderful. I love it. (big grin)

  4. Dark mornings are the precursor to brighter days, I hope.

  5. Yep, the sun is up and I'm delighted!