Why do we do it?
Ok so we know we have to get the ideas out of our head, and onto something tangible. Why not leave it at that though? Instead we send our work out for crit by people we’ve never met, we edit meticulously, and for what?
Most life goals have an end in sight, be it a career you train for, or seeing your kids grow into happy adults. Writing has no end.
The work in progress is always just that, in progress. It’s never perfect, it’s never finished.
Then even when you do get to a point where you think “this is it, I’ve got it as good as it can be (I’ve said that about six times to date), send it to an agent or two, then find a giant glaring hole. You hang your head in shame and try to ignore the inbox/post as you know a nice fat, form rejection is coming your way.
For this exact reason, I haven’t yet submitted to the agent I really, want. I guess I’m more willing to screw up my chances with others, than I am with them. The silly thing is, even if it was perfectly edited, with no typos, no misspellings and every comma perfectly placed,(yeah right) they still might send that dreaded form rejection in return. The spelling might not be my issue, maybe I tell a really poor story. Maybe no one even wants to read about BDSM with no fucked up Dom who actually treats his sub right. We just don’t know. We never know if we’re ever good enough.
The light at the end of the tunnel, is only switched on when an agent or publisher actually accepts! How do we keep going ’till then?
An acquaintance once told me, after I mentioned I was writing a book, to give up on an agent. She wrote too and no agents were taking new writers. She was published by an online eBook publisher. Website was bad, book covers appalling, and about ten links to jump through to even buy a book. Now, I think its fairly safe to say, agents are taking on new talent, if it’s good enough. Yet to maybe make herself feel better, or just to save time or even because all she needed was validation, that author chose to short-change her work and give up on the elusive representation.
How, do you invest so much time and energy, to just give up? Especially when you have a quick Google of how many, now, bestsellers were rejected, multiple times. A simple “thanks, but no thanks” from a few agents/publishers, doesn’t mean the work is bad, just not right for them. How do you know if yours is worth pursuing?
Is it really possible, that if you just keep querying, keep editing, keep sending out submissions, over and over again, eventually one will accept? Or is it more likely, you’ll just run out of people to sub too?
Which raises a new question, if when you get to the bottom of that list, after many, many edits, could you start at the top again? Is it possible the time that has lapsed, and the edits that have been made, would mean they won’t remember the piece they rejected a year ago? Could they even look at it differently? Could they accept?
If that is possible, isn’t it also possible, that anyone with time, determination and a story to tell can and will be accepted eventually. After all, you only need one “yes”.
Is it more about how determined you are, than whether or not you’re “ready”?